tv U.S. Senate CSPAN March 1, 2010 8:30am-12:00pm EST
of the state. it is clear that at all times the good of the state was uppermost for him. he was a patriot and gentleman. responsibility was prominent in every line and from every word that he wrote. this concept of responsibility in journalism was also foremost in what he decided not to write. i can attest to this personally that there were times when i knew that as a commentator the and journalist zev gave up on major scoops and the following journalistic prestige just in order to protect the security of the state of israel. the subject that i was asked to speak to you on today is the challenges and opportunities in the year of 2010. i am sure that those of you who
knew and loved zev like we do would like to hear what he would have said and how he would have analyzed matters at the beginning of years such as 2010. it seems to me that he would have quoted the more wisdom will increase. zev, you are missed by all of us and even more so today. the year 2010 reflects or shows us a collection, a unique collection of opportunities as well as challenges. a variety of sweat and opportunities. we are facing a dissonance all
around our borders and the clarity of the challenges starting to loom over the horizon, hamas in gaza, the hezbollah in lebanon, islamic jihad, iran and so on. in the united states, you're still the only superpower, the agenda is -- [inaudible] with both domestic and foreign strategic challenges. and israel finds itself the focal point of an historic struggle on two levels. international community vis-a-vis challenges represented by radical muslim terror,
nuclear military proliferation and rogue and failing states, and on another level within islam a tough debate and a tough struggle between radicals and moderates. the consequences of this the struggle on its two levels will shape the geopolitical landscape for the next decade. i prefer to start with the opportunities rather than with the -- [inaudible] it was already said about our region that in the middle east pessimism is an optimist with experience. [laughter] but prefer the churchill yang observation that the pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity while the opportunist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. i prefer the churchill version
of attitude toward events. there are clearly opportunities here, and i do believe that the israeli leadership has the uppermost responsibility in trying to reach peace with our neighbors. both to normalize our neighborhood, but also because in the absence of agreements, the risk of deteriorating into a vacuum, then violence are significantly increased. but we have to identify or look honestly into the basic facts of our neighborhood. the middle east is not the midwest. neither western europe. we would love to have the canadians as our neighbors, but
you got them. [laughter] and we have to live with wherever, you know, a person cannot choose his parents, and a nation cannot choose its neighbors. and we are living in a tough neighborhood. those of you, and i see here a few individuals who have lifetime careers in the region, it's a neighborhood where there is no mercy for the weak, no second opportunity for those who cannot defend themselves. israel is strong and deterring, israel is the strongest nation thousand miles around jerusalem, but we are realistic and open-eyed. there will be no peace in the middle east before the other side or our neighbors will
realize that israel cannot be defeated by the mere use of force, cannot be treated through terror and cannot be dragged through political naivete into diplomatic hunting trips. it is only -- because if any of those three alternatives will be open to our. [inaudible] or in the neighborhood, they will choose it over making peace. it is only when a strong, self-confident israel will be ready out of these strengths to stretch its arm towards peace and we'll find the same kind of attitude on the other side, we will have peace. i say we have to stand firm on our two feet, open-eyed not without a drop of self-delusion
about the realities of our neighborhood, but having one hand preferably the left hand looking for any window, turning every stone in order to find opportunity for peace while the other hand, the right one, will be pointing finger very close to the trigger, ready to pull it when it is ultimately a necessity. israelis strong on other issues as well. we are trying to nurture a cohesive society with a strong sense of solidarity. we are navigating quite successfully through this economic crisis that is a major issue for the whole world. we are moving forward in culture, in science, in technology. israel is a mighty, mighty
superpower in the several areas of science and technology from renewable energies, the possessing of water and nanotechnology, life sciences especially stem cells, medical devices, remote learning as well as the traditional strong points of our economy, the agriculture, extremely sophisticated agriculture and spatial expertise that grew out of the circumstances in the homeland security. we cannot afford making any compromises regarding the security of israel, but we have to the notice the changes on the other side. one cannot ignore the gradual transformation of the arab dialogue vis-a-vis israel.
some 40 odd years ago, no negotiations, no recognition, no peace. what had been taken by force would be taken back by force into the present day's almost contest between the arab players who will divide the peace opportunity and have become the cornerstone of the final agreement between us and the other worlds. a successful peace process especially with the palestinians is not just in the interest of israel, it is a compelling imperative for the state of israel, and that's why i say t the uppermost responsibility of any israeli government.
not to the palestinians, but out of our own interests, out of strength and without compromising our security. the reasons for this are probably painful but simple. between the jordan river to the east to the mediterranean to the west, there live 11 million people, 7.5 million israelis and 3.5 million palestinians. and if there is only one sovereign entity on this area named israel, it will become inevitably either non-jewish or non-democratic. if be this block of millions of palestinians cannot vote, it is a binational -- no, if they can vote, it's a binational state par excellence. if they cannot vote, it's not a democratic state.
so it's either non-jewish if they can vote or non-democratic if they cannot, and there is no way to bypass this simple and painful reality. the only way to decide is to be ready out of open-eyed approach to the realities to delineate a bolder life within the historic, biblical land of israel in a way that will take into account both security as well as demographic considerations and within which we will have a solid jewish majority for generations to come. and on the other side of it, a palestinian viable state that will reflect the palestinian dream which is in the national
identity. i reach this conclusion not because we do not have the biblical right, but because we do not have the strong affiliation. we have both. but because we have to listen to reality as well and do what could and should be done in order to promote a strong, flourishing for generations to come. we are now in the effort to move it on, to start with proximity talks. i hope that it will be open in the coming few weeks and that we'll follow by this way or another by a substantive dialogue about the core issues that are still between us and the -- [inaudible] we have been, we have visited all these core issues several times in the last 20 years, and
rabin in paris in '92, under my government in 2000 and to olmert's government in 2006 and now again under net -- netanyahu government the which i am minister of defense. we state loud and clear we accept two nations. we realize there should be a viable state with the nation anthem and the flag and all other -- [inaudible] this government in it guidelines accepted the road map whether it's phase two or phase three or combination of the two for those of you who are acquainted with the details. and we committed, also, to all agreements approved by previous governments which were not right wing government. we reflect a kind of national
unity. not typical national unity, right leg is much heavier than the left leg, but within us we include the body politic of israel mainstream. and i keep telling you those who know israel there is a strong silent majority in israel which are ready to make past painful decisions ford to reach peace -- once we are not having this tango alone. i think the efforts for a bottom-up building of institutions and future palestinian states led by prime minister fayyad with whatever support we can give to it, and
we want to see a strong palestinian authority. we want to see a weaker hamas. and we try to coordinate actions with them towards this direction. and i can tell you that having, talking about opportunities i cannot ignore the issue of syria. it's not a secret that in israel both myself and defense minister in the past and nows well as the israel defense establishment on all it levels believe that we have in the middle east have strategic interests in putting an end to our conflict with syria. we have been in negotiations in this city and in the other places regarding to this issue under rabin and paris
government, netanyahu, previous government, my government, and all of us know what is on the table, all of us know what kind of decisions are needed to be taken by both sides. all of us are realistic about what could be achieved or what probably cannot be achieved at the very first moment, and i insist that this is an opportunity more than a threat if navigated cleverly keeping the dignity of the other side on all stages. having said that, i can tell you that we are strong enough to face a deterioration, but we are not interested in it, we will not initiate it, and i don't believe that anyone in the region, in the immediate neighborhood of israel really
needs it. we follow carefully what happens in lebanon, and i think that the time has come to deal with it in a much more straight and real manner. the essence of 1701, the u.n. security council resolution following the last war in the north in 2006 was to put an end to this abnormality of the existence of hezbollah in lebanon. and instead of following the problem, it just allowed it to become more complicated. there is a bizarre anomaly there. lebanon is a member state of the united nations.
it has happened to have a militia. the militia happened to have members in parliament, even ministers in the cabinet with the veto power over the decision of the lebanese government. now it is supported and equipped by two other member states of the united nations. syria and iran. technologically and with equipment. and many civil servants in uniform and without uniform of both member states of the united nations are serving in lebanon within the chain of command of hezbollah and giving orders stemming out of the interests not of the lebanese people, but of other place. and it happened to be that this militia doesn't just develop a new long bow or more effective -- [inaudible] but it happened to have 45,000
rockets and missiles that happen to cover all israel, and they are part of a deployment that tells that they will activate it, and we have seen that they already did it in the past. these militia happen to have weapons systems that some many sovereigns do not have. we cannot accept it, we cannot accept the differencation between the terrorists of hezbollah and lebanon, and we keep saying we do not need my conflict, we will not lead it towards one, but if attacked, we will chase any individual hezbollah terrorist and they are, in fact, building and digging within the urban concentration, inside the cities, inside the civilian population. and these weapons that they have
mainly cannot be used against any military target. they are not accurate enough. the only conceivable use of most of those weapons is against civilian population in heavily urban concentration, and that what they try to do in the past. so we make it clear we don't need this conflict, but if it is imposed upon us, we'll not every individual terrorist, but we'll take both the lebanese government and the other sources of sponsorship, but mainly the lebanese government and the lebanese infrastructure as part of the equation facing us. and to continue the challenges
or threats, i have to mention the hamas. they are, they suffer the major plow a year -- blow a year ago in a mid-size operation we launch in the gaza strip. they were deterred but still accumulating more and more longer-range rockets with the smuggling systems that goes the all the way from iran through africa to the gaza strip. and the situation is not fully stable. we still have the abducted soldier in iran, and that complicates some aspects of the normalization of the situation, but it's still, it's quiet, more quiet than anywhere in the past. but internally or inherently unstable.
and last word about iran. iran is not just a challenge to israel, i believe it is a challenge for the whole world. i can hardly think of a conceivable stable world order with a nuclear iran. it is clear to us and i believe become more and more clear to others that iran tries to defy, deceit and deter the whole world to it nuclear ambitions, and it plays to get more time to enable it moving toward a nuclear military capability. the goal is clear and becoming clearer by the day. i think that the last report of the new head of the iaea is highly important because it shows that international agency can, if the will is there, call
a spade a spade and stop all these verbal gymnastics about what the iranians are really doing. if they develop, if they make implosion, the experiments on heavy metals with arabesques of simultaneously -- [inaudible] detonators and if they are working so intensively on two hemispheres say it was quoted there, it means that they are not just trying to create a manhattan project-like nuclear device, they are trying to jump directory into the second -- directly into the second generation of a nuclear warhead
that could be installed on top of ground-to-ground missiles with ranges that will cover not just israel, but moscow or paris for that purpose. and i think that we, we can like it or not. i believe that most of us do not like it. but we cannot close our eyes to what really happens in such a delicate corner of the world. if iran will not be stopped from moving, it will reach a certain point nuclear military capability, and one can close his eyes and think what it means. a nuclear iran means the end of any long proliferation regime. because saudi arabia and probably another two or three members of the middle eastern community will feel compelled to
reach nuclear capability as well. and it will open the door for any third grade dictator who has nuclear ambitions to understand that if he's strong enough mentally to defy any kind of threat from the world, he will reach nuclear military capability. i don't think that the iranians have north korea as their example, probably some certain example of how easy it could be to define the whole world, but basically they probably think of themself as another pakistan. and probably they started it totally independent upon the issue of israel. but they gradually adopted major cause for hegemonic intelligences, and you have just to listen to what they have said, what ahmadinejad has just said probably in damascus, they are looking for a new mid --
middle east. reminding me of -- [inaudible] [laughter] but new middle east according to ahmadinejad, something that should be free of zionists, free of colonialists and so. and once again they happen to develop not napoleon-style military, but nuclear weapons, and we cannot take it too easily, and i propose to other not to take it too easily. it's not just the end of any non-proliferation regime. i believe that it started the countdown that was first described by professor graham ellison of harvard in his book, "nuclear terrorism," in another generation of nuclear device in hands of some terrorist groups,
and those of you who are acquainted with nuclear strategy, please start think how, what shape can a multi-addressing deterrence against a nuclear attack with no address on it, how such a strategy might look. and you will realize how intensive, concrete and conclusive we should be in regard to these threats before it materializes. and it's not just about nuclear capabilities. i don't think that the iranians even if they got the bomb they're going to drop it immediately on some neighbor before they fully understand what might follow. they're radical, but not total -- [inaudible] [laughter] >> that's a technical term. >> some, they have quite sophisticated decision-making process, and they understand
realities. it's not just in the nuclear arena, it's also in the hegemonic -- they might intimidate neighbors all around the globe. we might feel very quickly the tailwind that the radicals from al-qaeda to islamic jihad to all other whatever we'll feel once iran turns nuclear and what kind of impact it will be between assertiveness and self-confidence of the radical players. not to mention the indirect capacity to influence to influence the price of oil. all these could be part of a nuclear iran, and i think that with open eyes we just have to the follow the with deeds what we are saying in all capitals of
the leading members of the international community that iran, a nuclear military iran is unacceptable. the point is how to translate this clear message into reality. do you appeal to a dialogue with them for years, the united states is trying now. i'm not sure whether the dialogue itself will work, but now there is sincere working on sanctions, i believe that it's important, there is a need beyond the -- [inaudible] whether it's hurting or crippling or paralyzing as i would like it. it's, what is really needed is significant sanctions, effective ones within a time limit that
will together with the -- [inaudible] to do it. i feel that the administration is doing utmost effort to deliver effective set of sanctions. we appreciate it, and we hope it will be successful. but we also should carry certain skepticism and always think solely and in a consequential manner about what should happen if, against our hopes, wishes and dreams, it won't work. ..
regime goes much slower than the slower ich than the clock which ticks toward iran becoming nuclear, military power. and this is the reason why while simultaneously there was diplomacy and effective sanctions we recommend to all players not to remove any option from the table and we adopt this attitude for ourselves as well.
to summarize my opening remarks, i would say we are living in a unique year. a quiet confusing embarrassing almost amount of changes and opportunities coming together in a huge vibrating way. but i find leaders all around the world more and more coming to grip with realities and more opened eyes i've found in the capitals of the free world and even in some authoritarian corners. and 2010 will tell us whether this can suffice to tackle the challenges and seize some of the opportunities.
my feeling is that some of the challenges will be with us longer than 2010. it's clearly time for coordination on high level between leaders of the world. i think that within this kind of dialog, the most important point to be kept in mind is that our responsibility is never to drift -- let ourselves be drifted into a sort of self-delusion where the reality is too tough to look at. and too painful while you're considering the consequences of either choice and the decision is just to gradually close your eyes to it. that's something we can't afford. we can make this kind of decision, we can make other and a combination of decision.
we cannot afford closing our eyes to what's developing. the united states is clearly the number one leader in the world and the internal debates where the eyes on the west of the world is focused at you. both in the big struggle about how the world will looks like when it cease to be one polar but a multipolar world. and how the balance between dialog and if all alternatives are exhausted, the use of force not just of soft power. how this balance will be shaped. it's extremely strongly dependent upon the american conclusions.
and i think that disregarding the public dialog in america, public participation, the think tanks are acting the -- the attempt to understand and illicit certain alternatives from a complicated situation. i think that this is something that is done here in a much more intensive way than any other coordinate of the world. and i see other respected institutes in the city, it is extremely important. we feel with regard to israel, as i've said, i do not delude myself that the situation is simple and that this will be an easy sliding toward 2011 with no need to take decisions. i expect it to be quite complicated and tough year.
but still i'm optimistic about israel. i see many opportunities and all these difficulties around us. and i hope and wish all of us is good year. thank you very much. [applause] >> minister barak, thank you very much. that harken back to your days as head of military intelligence for such an impressive briefing on threats and opportunities. so thank you very much. i'd like to open up by asking you more specifically about the u.s.-israel relationship concerning the agenda that you just outlined. there is currently a slew of visits of high level officials in the national security realm. the vice president is going shortly. but i'd like to ask you more specifically about the depth of this relationship especially as
concerned the challenge from iran. the level of coordination, the level of corporation. -- cooperation. and the meeting of minds. to what extent does that exist on the nature of the problem and on the nature of the solution? >> probably we collect several questions so i can jump over certain questions. [laughter] >> more easily. >> why don't you take that and then i'm going to identify some other -- that's the prerogative of the host. >> use the prerogative of the head of the institute. >> that's right. i pay the rent. >> the societies based on the quality. [laughter] >> fairness to all, not just to write down your question. >> you're wonderful. okay. david on my left and on my right, rather, and on my far left here. could you wait for the microphone to come to you. and identify yourself for all the viewers around the world.
>> mr. minister, we talked about maximizing the success of institution-building. can you also say and as a minister of defense how important has the security cooperation between israeli and palestinians been to the tranquility that's existing now on the ground? and also you mentioned a border demarcation as a compelling imperative for israel. given that some issues like jerusalem and the like are very sensitive with a lot of resonance, can you see focusing on borders first as the first item on a final status agenda? >> on the left here, mike, please. >> minister barak, this is joe. i would like to ask you what's the time limit for israel to rely on the on diplomacy?
and my second question, why israel cannot live with a nuclear iran? >> why don't we take that. >> he complements you. [laughter] >> i'm slow in writing in english. okay. you know, with regard to the question, i felt our relationship with the united states goes decades backward. i see here the founding fathers of the intimacy, the depth. and they went through ups and downs. but basically the underlying
common attributes of democracy we perceived ourselves as an outpost of the western way of life. the ideas of democracy, open society, western way of life. in a region that was troubled and go gradually into more normalcy. i hope it will improve in the future. and we had the same common basis of values. and a lot of support from the united states. all along these. the kind of bipartisan, both sides of the political aisle and many issues on qualitative military edge to even economic support when it was needed. and it's the normal truth that the united states new to stand and make sure that this outpost will not be kind of fault parade to animosities or something. and we felt very proud that we
never asked americans to come to fight for us. we basically -- once again to paraphrase on churchill, we told you to give us the tools and we'll do the job. we felt by supporting israel on very basic terms, the united states relieves itself from the need to contribute directly to something that that happens with regard to israel. i think that this is the basis of it even now. i think that beyond that, there is, of course, a certain difference in perspective and difference in judgment and difference in the internal clocks. and difference in the capabilities. and i don't think that we need -- there is a need to coordinate in this regard. it should be an exchange of views. we do not need to call it in.
we clearly support the attempt for diplomacy. we clearly think that when you look at nuclearized iran you have allies like france and u.k. and nuclear pakistan, china, and north korea turning nuclear so probably from this corner of the world, it doesn't change the scheme dramatically. in israel it looks like a tipping point of the whole region and although there is quiet consequences to the wider world, global world order and we try to convince here as well as in europe and even in beijing, we sent stanley fisher with
others to beijing to exchange views with the chinese as well. so it's, of course, different. but i think that basically it's the underlying relationship which is strong and the mutual respect is due. and we understand we are not the united states. and the united states has begun to understand they are not in the same situation as we are. and i think this mutual respect and capacity to listen, to take into account the considerations of the other even result speaking about them explicitly or publicly is more important than the other aspects. regarding to the question -- or the two questions, the effort made by the palestinian authority especially fayyad and people from here and some -- and
very intimate coordination with us regarding the opportunity to act is very fruitful. we are here at the defense attache, raise your hand. he was until recently the commander of this region and from battalion to battalion, we allow them to come back in the area and equip them with equipment and let them bring weapons and so on. and they are changing the way the west is won. if you go through mala or other areas, you'll find something you've never seen in years. more than a decade, the economy is growing very fast. public order is very clear. they are federally building both
institutions and the canadians are helping them build a system and some are helping with a prison system. and the situation is much better. even when the -- you know, recently we imposed a freeze on new buildings on the west bank for 10 months and there was quite naturally quite a vocal and intense meetings with the leaders of the of israeli settlements of the west bank, they all agreed the security situation underground is better than anywhere in the past. and clearly part of it is our effectiveness in the security service in the idaf and it's part of the result of this building of security forces.
regarding to the borders, first of all, if it's agreed to start, let it be so. i can talk from personal experience. leaders take the challenges of having a break in diplomatic agreements. by looking at the whole thing. because any kind of giving up on concessions, any isolated element expose them politically when they do not know whether they do not have an agreement and they don't know if they will have one and they are starting to pay the price. and it even if it's closed and far from the public eye. if you negotiate issues and you have on the agenda borders and security in jerusalem and refugees at the end of conflict and finality of claims, you
cannot easily deal with one element because on both sides when a compromise is achieved on one element, it's too painful for both sides to do it without knowing what's going on the other side. it makes more sense in my mind to move on issues simultaneously. probably the advancement will not be the same. and at certain points it become clear, what are the give-and-takes, the tradeoffs that could be done on all of them simultaneously in order to make it satisfactory for both sides. i already told thosevj(ñ in frof president obama and netanyahu that the toughest decision he will to have make will be vis-a-vis his own people. not vis-a-vis with netanyahu. and the activity should be invested in finding the way how
to shorten the corridors so both political leaders on both sides will have to show politically before they make their decisions. probably how to shake events that by their very nature change overnight the perception of the conflict by millions on both sides. this should be the focal points of creative sorts in order to reach decisions. i think your questions were answered during -- i cannot talk about time limits and so on. i don't think that's the right forum. i do not think there is anything, any development in the area that will put the continuity of the existence of israel in a question mark.
i don't accept this kind of hypothesis that there could be something that really risks the continuity of existence. but it's clear and i try to explain it why letting iran turn nuclear not just with israel but the whole middle east and really open the way for mahmoud ahmadinejad version of a new middle east. i want to warn all of you when i mentioned simon peres, i did not ever hinted that there is anything -- as we say in hebrew, a thousands and thousands of differences but i just used the same term. i think that because we are middle easterners, i think many of your viewers are middle
eastern citizens we should ask ourselves whether it's possible to stop it. and if it's possible to stop it, a better middle east -- much better middle east will emerge. >> very good. all right. next set of questions, the ambassador right here on my right and then dan right here and then -- yes, doug on my left. >> remember from the other side, zakheim on the right. [laughter] >> go ahead. >> first of all, if i may speak on behalf of all of zev's fans in the room today, i want to thank you by honoring his memory by addressing us.
i think he would have been very impressed as i'm sure most of us -- all of us probably were by your strategic assessment. and you did, i think, a very credible job of painting israel as a strong country with a strong army and a strong economy. but what i didn't hear and what i would like to hear is how you connect the dots between the assessment of all of these challenges which as you said quoting churchill presenting opportunities. and what israel as a strong country capable of taking risks for peace, calculated risks for peace, will do about it? how do you develop -- what is your strategy? for dealing with all of these very difficult challenges? >> dan in the center. >> thank you. good morning, minister. you mentioned the israeli -- >> identify yourself.
>> oh, dan williams from reuters news agency. the chinese government put out a statement describing these talks as exclusively a matter of bilateral issues celebrating, i think, it's 18 years of ties. the official chinese posture has been to play down the iran aspect of these talks. given that an effective security council resolution appears to hinge on china, are you optimistic about chinese consent what they would like to see. and do you think the american messages about the assumed israeli military options and the destabilizing effects that have been passed to china has been effective and is this a message that was passed by the current talks of the israeli delegation? >> and dov? >> dov zakheim from the right, actually. >> far right. [laughter] >> ehud, first of all, i want to
echo what martin said about zev. there's a word in english that everybody understands. it's mensch. and zev was the ultimate mensch. you left out one country that i was surprised you left out and that's turkey. and i wonder if you could talk about the state of israeli-turkish relations right now. >> why don't we take these three, ehud. >> to martin's question, israel is strong. we're ready to take risks. the bridge as i described it, one heavy leg and one thinner leg, probably more curviest but more ready to act. but thinner leg. and we in the government are ready to take -- to take risks.
unlike war, you know, peace takes two. and you need the other side readiness. i listened very carefully to all the doubts that are raised regarding to netanyahu, will he be ready? will he move? what kind of political pressures he faces? how important they are. first of all, we have slightly different system than yours. here you choose a president. he will be there for four years. and he will produce certain constraits and will need to negotiate with the congress and with the public but it doesn't -- he's not threatened for the very continuity of his reign. in israel, the prime minister wakes up in the morning to see whether he's still there. [laughter] >> and he can be replaced at any moment. so there is a more sensitive
kind of navigation isment. -- is needed. and i always answer these by returning the challenge to the doubters. namely, instead of speculating whether netanyahu is ready and whether the government can live up to the commitments that i've mentioned or not, let's bring them -- the proof of the pudding is in the eating. let's -- we are ready to go there. we made it clear. let's put them to the test, both sides, you know, there are some israeli who suspect that the palestinian leadership is not really ready. they are ready to get more tangibles. but the moment will come even if extremely daring proposal like
the one that we put on the table under the clinton administration. will be there. they will not be capable of signing an agreement where it said at the end of the agreement where it is end of conflict and finality of mutual claims. and i tell those critics the same. why to speculate. we can never prove it unless we bring abu mazen in the room and be able to put those daring proposals on the table and see and judge by them. in our experience, if it doesn't fly it goes into the violence. but i think that both sides are more experienced now. and we can avoid or minimize this risk. but having said that, i should tell you that we are facing in
israel a position not just from the right side which is natural, you could expect it. we find certain rejection of the attempt to go to -- to go to the place and try to have a breakthrough from the left side. from people who are long-life supporters of the peace project. and we find them acting against it. i cannot explain it. we have a joke regarding antiartillery aircraft saying -- telling about a young cadet in the fighter pilot school that was dropped. he was asked, where do you want to go? and he answered, antiaircraft artillery. was asked that, he answered if i don't fly, no one will. [laughter]
>> and i tell my colleagues leading former ministers of israel who are trying to intervene to slow down the process. i tell them we do not need antiaircraft artillery now. we need all the support that you can give to move on with a serious process that will put to the test both sides and readiness to go. and i keep telling my colleagues even in the government that i'm confident that there is a strong silent majority in israel, that when the moment comes for the decision, i joke that many will be in my position, not in what seems to be the reigning
position in my government. and i believe netanyahu clearly understands the historic challenge. and i believe the government, at least based on what it says in its guiding lines is ready to go there. in regard to dan's questions, i do not pretend to be a great expert on china. our mission there is just about information. now, we know that together with the chinese we are more than 1 billion people. [laughter] >> we feel very strong. [laughter] >> we cannot think of more than sharing what we think in
development and currencies. your symbiotic relationship based on the amount of american bonds that they hold. [laughter] >> they didn't buy a lot of bonds, shekells normally. but we want to share with them. [laughter] >> our feelings about what's going on in the world and what's going on with the iranian project. the chinese are interested. and we are quite a body of information about it. we want to share it. >> we'll leave the last couple moments of this program to go live now to part two of a hearing on the coordination of reconstruction contracts in iraq and afghanistan this morning. representatives from the state and defense departments and the u.s. agencies for international department are appearing before the bipartisan federal commission on wartime contracting. you'll hear from them and what they're doing to promote
interagency coordination and their thoughts for a new government oversight agency to reduce waste and fraud. from capitol hill, this is live coverage. it's just getting underway here on c-span2. >> reconstruction and stabilization projects and these shortcomings can put huge sums of money at risk of waste and undermine our efforts to improve the lives of people in iraq and afghanistan. these concerns apply not only to u.s. government agencies but to operations conducted by our coalition partners. nongovernmental entities and international organizations like the world bank and the united states. during this decade, international pledges of assistance for iraq and afghanistan have climbed to nearly $80 billion. however, our focus here is on interagency coordination. within the u.s. government. which has committed even larger amounts. since the start of the contingency operations in
southwest asia, the u.s. government has appropriated reconstruction funding alone of more than $53 billion for iraq and $51 billion presently for afghanistan. the commission is interested in this fact because much of the money passes from taxpayers through the accounts of government agencies to contractors. in fact, more than 50% of the worse commonly understood and well documented are now contractors. our research and investigations since 2008 have naturally looked at the contracting process. contractor management, contractor auditing and related issues. that's one of this commission's mandates. but we're not strained from our mandate when we raise questions about interagency coordination. the language of our authorizing statute assigns the commission particular duties. these duties including assessing
and i quote, the appropriateness in of the organizational structure, policies, practices and resources of the department of state and the department of defense and the department of state for handling program management and contracting. so here we are. our mandate includes organizational structure and how it's working and is it effective. as i mentioned, our witnesses last week concurred that there are substantive coordination problems in federal agencies, reconstruction and stabilization efforts that senior leadership needs to address in a timely manner. there is, in fact, no locus of visibility over all our projects. never mind a locus of coordinating authority. in his latest quarterly report to congress, the special i.g. for iraq reconstruction or what we refer to as sigar observes that the u.s. military has improved its in-house
cooperation and integration. but he adds the iraq experience illustrates the need to expand corporation and integration against u.s. agencies but most especially among dod, dos and usaid and end of quote. that is why we're holding this hearing today. and that is why we've asked each of our witnesses the key players in their organizations on this matter to offer testimony to this commission. the special i.g. for afghan reconstruction not to be referred to as sigir but sigar because that's the reference has called attention to his latest report to inadequate coordination of programs in judicial reform and the afghan energy sector as well as questions of staff and resource adequacy and limitations which we're very interested in talking about today.
although our witnesses concurred on the existence of coordination problems, they differed on their views or causes. or the emphasis of multiple causes. the secretary of s/crs has primary responsibility for coordinating and planning and execution of reconstruction and stabilization efforts. but there were questions raised at last week's hearing about the adequacy of existing staffing and resources. an area we'll explore. the national security council is an obvious meta-agency candidate for oversight coordination. but it functions far above the operational level. and testimony suggested that its interagency management system is not functioning as intended. if so, this is disturbing. some have further suggested that the federal government needs an all together new organization to
oversee interagency coordination. or it may be that the real problem is not structure. staffing or resources but execution by the principals on the ground carrying out well-planned, well-coordinated sensible projects with the organizations in place today. that local people need, want, and can sustain. without effective leadership and without full and complete coordination by all executive organizations there is added risk of funds appropriated for reconstruction, as i referenced before now exceeding $104 billion will be inefficiently and ineffectively spent. as part of using taxpayer money it would achieve u.s. objective of peace, good government, stability and economic growth for southwest asia. as the divergence of last week's diagnosis suggest we face a big complicated problem that even the full transcript of our last
hearing can only describe in broad strokes. pursuing that problem today we have assembled three expert witnesses. thank you, gentlemen. from the agency's most heavily involved in america's reconstruction and stabilization efforts. our witness panel consist of ambassador john herb stabilization department of state. mr. james bever and if i pronounce that wrong -- did i pronounce that right, sir? >> yes. >> i almost always make the point and i didn't in this case so thank you for getting lucky. director task force for afghanistan and pakistan. u.s. agency for international development or usaid as it's referred to. and dr. james schear deputy assistant secretary of defense for partnership, strategy and stability operations, united states department of defense. we look forward to hearing our witness describe what they have done and what their organizations have done and are
planning to improve interagency coordination. and to tell us what they think about the comments and suggestions made by last week's witnesses. we've asked our witnesses to summarize their testimony in approximately five minutes to allow adequate time for questions and answers. as with prior existing practices, when we're done with the complete cycle today, we'll afford each of you a reasonable time, like five minutes, that if you want to summarize different things that you heard to give you the opportunity -- you'll kind of have the last say. the full text of their statements will be entered into the hearing record and posted on the commission's website. we also ask that the witnesses submit any additional information that they may offer to provide and responses to any questions for the record within 15 days following this hearing. the commission appreciates the cooperation of our witnesses. and looks forward to an informative session.
if the witnesses will please stand. and raise their right hands. do you swear or affirm the testimony that you give today will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but truth? thank you. let the record show that all the witnesses responded in the affirmative. thank you. please be seated which you already did. ambassador herbst, we're a bipartisan commission and i forget my cochair. and i apologize. i would like to introduce my cochair, mr. christopher shays. ambassador, please. >> thanks for the opportunity to speak. i'm the coordination for reconstruction and stabilization at the state department a position which reports directly to the secretary of state. and is responsible for organizing response -- >> ambassador, could you pull your mic a little closer. >> involving failed and failing states.
while incorporating the lessons learned from past operations, we embody secretary clipt's smart power utilizing all government resources in the right combination in managing complex crises. in today's highly interconnected world we face a growing danger from failed and failing states such areas can become breeding grounds of terrorism, trafficking in humans and narcotics, organized crime and piracy. failed states also generate refugee flows. while iraq and afghanistan are the subject at hand they are not the only countries that fall into this category. the complex challenge posed by ungoverned space is part of a response mechanism. to be effective our response must utilize all the civilian skills appropriate for the crisis in question and where our military is engaged the response must intergrate civilian military activities to form a single operation. as we have learned from past crises, particularly iraq, they cannot afford reconstruction
crises in an ad hoc manner but must be prepared in the manner of the u.s. military with the trained, skilled, equipped and ready civilian force to respond immediately when national security interests are in doubt. whether with the military or without. the civilian response corps which is being developed and managed is that civilian force. at full capacity given our current budget appropriations, the civilian response corps will consist of 264 active members or full-time dedicated first responders and 2,000 -- >> ambassador, my staff is of pinging on me. we're doing your testimony digital. we're going to give you a little bit more time. but can you slow it down a little bit; otherwise, they'll come in and say they only caught a few words. thank you, sir. >> thank you. >> tapping experts from the usaid the cooperation is a eight agencies state, usaid justice, homeland security, treasury, agriculture, commerce and health and human services. through this partnership we can bring true whole of government
approach to complex operations. to date, 99 members of the corps have deployed to 16 countries. if you count s/crs staff this number is 174. we have also deployed crc members to exercise and to the combatant and commands. in one sense the exercise exercised civilians participated in what has been the largest single exercise in history. one of the strengths of the corps is the ability to engage in dedicated planning, conflict assessment and mitigation activities that will reduce the need for future military intervention by helping to stabilize countries at the tipping point of conflict. the goal is to deploy the civilian response or to prevent confidence in the stability not just to respond to conflict. in addition to its mission to help prevent and respond quickly in a coordinated manner to conflict, the corps is unique in its redness requirements which is the closest in the u.s.
government to the training the u.s. military requires before deploying its soldiers. every single crc member must complete a strict training protocol before deploying and maintain readiness on an annual basis. although s/crs was initially established in 2004, s/crs and the civilian corps was not authorized until october 2008 when the reconstruction stabilization management act was passed as part of the fy09 national defense authorization bill. once more funding was not available to establish, train and equip the civilian response corps until early fiscal year '09 after being appropriated to state and usaid first under the fy08 supplemental. to date a total of $290 million has been appropriated of which $225 million has been provided under the civilian stabilization initiative. what this means is very important. is that s/crs has only been truly operational for 18 months. not for 4 1/2 years. 5 1/2 years. yet, in that short period of
time we have built the civilian response to its current strength of active members. 86 will be 92. and we'll have 150 by the summer and more beyond that. we've managed over 350 million in 2007 this has funded 25 projects in 23 countries. we developed something called the interagency conflict assessment framework with our partners in usaid and used this in fourteen countries to come up with ideas to prevent conflict. we have deployed 70 corps members and other staff to afghanistan alone where we led the development of the first civilian military integrated campaign. we've also had operational plans for all 12 american prts as well as for regional command east and regional command south. we provided on short order for ambassador holbrooke a team to monitor the afghan elections.
and we provided a similar team on strategic communications. we also deployed civilian response corps members to africom, centcom to work on planning and further expand coordination with the military. we deployed 13 members fair to say civilian corps to the democratic republic of congo to follow up on the secretary's visit. we responded to the earthquake in haiti by deploying civilian response corps member to assist the embassy and the humanitarian relief effort and we activated the crc from across the agencies, from across the government to staff task forces here. we were asked one day to help provide support for a specific task force in the state department. the next morning we provided 40 people including all eight agencies that make up the civilian response. that is true interagency work. true interagency coordination. this is not to say there have not been challenges. the pace of hiring for the civilian response corps has been slower than anticipated. although we picked up the pace
substantially over the last six months. but that is why the president's fiscal year '11 budget has flexible hiring authorities which congress has already granted for civilian staffing in iraq and afghanistan. i can understand why some are impatient with current efforts to unify the civilian side of the usg for complex operations. no one is more frustrated than i am but some historical perspective is needed. the integration of the military under goldwater-nichols took over 10 years. the establishment of joint -- what it's called socom special operations command was an over ten-year project. we've been in real operation for a year and a half. we are starting to take off. now is the time to empower us. to make changes will only slow down our efforts to create the new tool this unified civilian force which could be used for complex operations. thank you very much. >> thank you, ambassador. mr. bever, please.
>> thank you very much for inviting a.i.d. this morning before your commission. my remarks i want to focus on three main issues. one is planning reconstruction in afghanistan. second is interagency and international coordination and third is lessons we learned from both afghanistan and iraq. i've been with a.i.d. for over 27 years. i was on the ground from 2003 to 2004. and then the american a.i.d. director for israel, west bank and the gaza strip after that and then deputy assistant administrator for iraq and now executive director for afghanistan and pakistan where i task forced for our agency. iraq and afghanistan have similar challenges for a.i.d. and similar response challenges related to security, staffing and grants oversight, just to name is few.
but at the same time they're different. there are different operating environments and they pose some of their own unique challenges. i'll start related to our planning discussion with our budget. in iraq, allocations managed by usaid peaked in 2003. a number of years ago. at just under $5 billion. it has been coming down since then. last year, our budget was less than $500 million. the largest resources were for infrastructure up until 2006 and the current shift over time has been toward more stabilization activities that focus on building the iraq government's capacity as well as promoting the grassroots democracy and economic opportunities for longer term growth. still a major challenge. if you look at afghanistan, it's somewhat a little different. over the last five fiscal years you say it's managed resources that have risen from below $800 million in fiscal 2006 to the current estimated $2.1 billion
for the year 2010. one of our primary initiatives under afghanistan model is the afghan first program. it will increase local procurement and significantly transfer the responsibility of development programs more and more to afghan and afghan government as they can handle it. as a result, we begun to move away from larger awards towards smaller ones and more short-term grants with local afghan firms where they can accountably manage it. they're also working to channel more with the government of afghanistan ministries and i can talk more before that. -- about that. the shift is a.i.d. to work closely with counterparts among the inspectors general. and i want to just state very clearly we welcome our a.i.d. inspector general. we welcome sigir and sigar. international coordination i'll just summarize we work with the
case of iraq and we also worked quite well and quite closely in the case of afghanistan. we contribute to, for example, the afghan reconstructed trust fund in afghanistan. we contributed to the iraq reconstruction finance facility in the case of iraq and have regular coordination meetings with our fellow donors in both countries. including with world bank, asian development bank and afghanistan and so on. in terms of internal usg coordination which i'm sure we'll talk more about later this morning we worked very closely with the predecessor coordination entities in iraq. coordination continues with the prts and to the district levels which we can talk about now. particularly in what -- and we welcome the opportunity to discuss a little more what we
are now calling the shape clear hold build and transfer approaches to coordination at the local level. in terms of lessons learned and i'll wrap up with this. we need -- we need to maintain the ability to have speed and flexibility in the way we program our people's money. we need to be able to continue to have a usaid inspector general on the ground with us for concurrent audit. and we need creative approaches to monitor and evaluate our activities where it's too dangerous all too often for american officers to travel. i will close by saying we welcome some of the comments that sigir, stewart bowen addressed in his book that was published by sigir, hard lessons of the iraq reconstruction experience. we focused on about a dozen of those lessons. and i'll be happy to share of
some our thoughts on those for the record afterwards. we've done this with other committees. i will close my remarks at that point. thank you. >> thank you, mr. bever. welcome, dr. schear, please proceed. >> thank you very much, co-chairman, members of the commission. my sincere thanks to all of you for the opportunity to offer some perspective on the coordination challenges that we encounter in the design and execution of stabilization and reconstruction operations. as osd's steward for partnership strategy and stability operations, i could not think of a more timely topic for today's hearing. set against the background as it is of our ongoing operation unified response. our whole of government disaster relief effort in the wake of haiti's devastating earthquake.
i appreciate this is not the core focus of your commission. but i underscore it today because i think the events of the last several weeks and indeed the courageous efforts of our service personnel to enable the international humanitarian contingency response now underway are a stark reminder that stabilization and reconstruction are pervasive themes in many types of crisis contingencies be they sudden, onset natural disasters as in haiti or persistent irregular conflicts as we have seen in afghanistan and iraq. cochairs, if i may, i'll briefly summarize the key points of my written statement, which i'll be submitting for the record. as you all know very well, the coordination of s & r activities is a constant preoccupation of our senior policymakers. we in dod have been very supportive of institutionalizing structures and processes to
strengthen this coordination. we recognize that every contingency requires an integrated effort across multiple lines of operation. our overriding priority is to act quickly, smartly, and in a thoroughly accountable fashion. from a u.s. government standpoint, this coordination is fundamentally about strengthening the relationship between the department of defense and its interagency partners. and i would add both in the foreign affairs community and as we've seen in haiti increasingly in the homeland security community as well. since the early 1990s, our country has led or supported a wide range of s & r missions. not only in afghanistan and iraq but also in cambodia, the balkan, somalia, haiti, and other venues. as these cases illustrate, interagency coordination and the
s & r domain revolves around three critical areas. the first area is crisis management, which is conducted by senior diplomats and policymakers. and is aimed at mobilizing international action in the face of looming threats or disasters. a second area is contingency planning and operations orchestrated mainly by functional specialists who span all the relevant areas, it security relief, rule of law, economic development. that are deemed critical for a given response. the third area focuses upon the mobilization and effective targeting of resources. not just the funding and authorities but also human capital. specifically, our capability to deploy teams of expeditionary civilian experts and military professionals who can work together in permissive as well as nonpermissive settings. to re-enforce coordination we have supported the development
of common operating structures, familiarization with each agency's culture and opportunity to improve habits of cooperation. related to these efforts i understand you have had an extended discussion at your recent hearings about ways to improve coordination centered on the proposal by the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction to create a u.s. office of contingency operations, so-called usoco. i understand this is an important issue and i'll be happy to address our agency views on that in detail in the question and answer period. let me now turn, if i may, to some issues about sustainability. it's a vitally important issue. projects -- we require projects that are developed and selected and executed will bring lasting benefit to a local population and enhance legitimacy of the host nation government.
we also want them to endure long after they're handed off to local authorities. i understand you will have some reasonable interest in the status of our commanders emergency response program, the so-called cerp program and we understand this is of close interest and i'm ready to discuss that with you. at the end of the day, sir, and i understand my time is slipping past, we understand that coordination with s & r partners is never going to be flawless. but if the recent past is any indication, we are making some progress. we need to intergrate multiple lines of authority to ensure the appropriate response to contingency planning, crisis management and resource mobilization. scalibility and adaptability are also critical ingredients. sir, i'll wrap up on that point. and i look forward to your questions. thank you.
>> thank you, dr. schear. we'll use the same process we used before. we're going to have two wounds of inquiry of questions and answers. led by myself and concluded each round by my cochair. and then we're -- we'll have an order that we'll go through on this process. so i start the process off and today i really have two themes. and the first one -- i talked about -- we talked about in the opening statement, executive leadership. the criticality and that's why we ask you folks to come up and talk to us. and myself and this commission talk about this all the time. because it's so critical to the process. that's my first one.
and my second one will be in the second round of questions. my first one is actually an initial compliment to the secretary of defense. and when i'm done, dr. schear, i'm going to ask you whether you agree with the secretary and it might be an easy answer. but you might think about it. the secretary wrote a letter in the middle of december, december 15th, to the secretary of state. one secretary to the other secretary. it wasn't written by staff. and staff weren't referenced in it like call so-and-so and contact so-and-so. and the title was options for remodeling security sector assistance authorities. that's quite a title. but that's what the title was. the point it was a proposal for consideration of one coordination mechanism. but the leading paragraph to me was very powerful. and it was just two significant paragraphs but part of that
paragraph said, even so, and they're talking about the coordination between agencies -- even so the challenges have been substantial. the expansion of dod's authorities and funding driven by requirements of afghan -- afghanistan, iraq and other conflict prone areas have produced some notable successes in past years but stirred debate over roles and missions that often require adjudication. at our level. a very diplomatic way of saying we had differences that couldn't be resolved. and they had to be pushed to the top. these recurring debates have taxed the time and energy of our departments and do not meet the nation's long-term needs. my sense is that these requirements will be enduring ones given current and future security challenges. i consider that spot on. in terms of a statement and in
terms of a problem definition and a communication that says -- that goes on to say here's an idea, i'll work with you. i'd like to work with you. and just last week, secretary gates made a keynote presentation to the nixon center washington, d.c., last wednesday. and in his comments, he went back to his letter. and he said last year, you know, we're talking about march now -- but he said last year i sent secretary clinton one proposal as i see as a starting point of discussion for the way ahead. and he laid out the proposal. and he says both the state and the defense departments would contribute to those funds and no project could move forward. and i'm sure there would be a threshold and people would work that out without the approval of both agencies. and he talked about incentivizing collaboration.
but then he goes on -- secretary gates goes on and says regardless of what approach we take to reform -- so he had put out a proposal and a willingness in december and a desire to communicate what approach we took to reform and modernize america's partner capacity apparatus. whether it's something like the proposal i just mentioned or some other arrangement, it should be informed by the following premiums. -- principles and he laid out four principles that he proposed and they all kind of make sense and obviously this is a major effort on the part of the secretary of defense to reach across and to try -- and to acknowledge, you know, there have been some significant differences in order -- and this commission is about efficiency in contracting. not having, you know, contract costs elevated because of the lack of coordination as well as organizational structures, which
could evolve from this. i'll start with -- i'll make one other statement. in one of my prior lives for 11 years i was the number two person in a pretty big defense agencies. it ranged from 7,000 to 4,000. i want to tell you -- i was the deputy throughout the period. and if someone from another department or another agency within a department of defense at a high level communicated with us, that was the highest priority. we communicated back. why? because why else would you do that. there's a difference of opinion. we told them if it's something we had to analyze it, we told them how we were going to analyze it and we usually offered someone at a very senior level to work with them and that seemed to work well and that's really where i'm coming from. the importance of coordination. so i really -- this inquiry is for two of you.
and now dr. schear, without an elaboration because i think i elaborated for the secretary, do you agree with the secretary of defense? >> sir, i'd be -- i don't think it will surprise you to say that i absolutely agree with the secretary of defense. i'm very pleased that he has elevated these issues to the point of a national debate. for serious consideration across all the agencies of government and with congress. i think his concern reflects the fact that in our current era, there are no purely state department diplomatic or defense department military equities. there's no exclusive zone of equity here. we have overlapping interests. and security sector assistance as it has been developed has proven challenging in the past several years to manage. so i think this is a step forward in a sense of putting out a proposal.
we look forward to further engagement with interagency colleagues on it. >> thank you dr. schear. throughout the first three months i have been -- we've had people who worked for state. i think a lot of the state department -- i think they're a very formidable organization. and i say where's the response? well, they seem to say it's kind of in motion. and they're working on it. i would like to offer to staff, in other words, staff should be monitoring, you know, so many communications come across. but i don't know. ....
>> i just had to make the statement. i am the democrats in this bipartisan group. but in this particular case i am compelled that that is unacceptable than i would ask you to go back and say, because i think secretary of defense has been much more diplomatic than i have here by saying something sensible but i think i have to call it like it is.
and if the two principles, gifted, powerful, dynamic leaders aren't engaging, then we can have you all talking about it until the end of tomorrow, and it will be a challenge. so i think you, but i have a deep concern on this. commissioner tiefer, your next. >> thank you, chairman. as in the past, i thank you for your leadership in these areas, and you took us so far a year ago when we are just standing up, and i didn't even know -- i often didn't know what agency we were talking about, but you always did. so i thank you. ambassador herbst, last week commission reviewed sigir's report outlined hard lessons. the state department has basically brushed that report off, despite its very fine work
and structure, in a way that looks like to make they brush us off the same way if we made proposals. one of the things they did was present in your office, that there is no need for the states term creating new mega structures. so i want to understand about your office to get a helpful opening statement, and i'm buried in the numbers is your current active strength, your civilian response corps, is 86. now, some of those our new employees who, s/crs is the agency that contributes them, would be the one that could send them to afghanistan if anyone could. my understanding is most of these 86 already work for the state department for d.o.d. or for a.i.d., one way to describe the people as they are dual. their own agency, the state
department could contribute them to afghanistan, even if s/crs didn't exist. so the first half of my question is, if the number under 30 for the actual number of the single employees of s/crs is far off, please give me an actual number. my second half of that question is jack lu, the deputy secretary of state who has said there will be a civilian surge in afghanistan and the provincial teams, just under 1000, about 980 was the number i saw. this civilian surge is one of the best many fine, efforts. he is trying to provide support to go with our military search. more power to him. of those 980, is the number from your active core just about 16
less than 2 percent of the civilian surge? can you tell me numbers that are more precise under 34 single and for about 1646 civilian surge if i am far off? [inaudible] >> i believe your single-hattedness do not apply. there are 86 members right now, they are responsible for. of we have not received the budget to build civilian response corps, these 86 members would not exist. in many cases i don't have the numbers handy but i can get them to you. the 86, some of the 86 were hired from outside. in some cases, they were employees on board who moved from one job in their respective agencies to another job. but they are simply members of the civilian response corps in
their agencies. they are not quote unquote dual hatted as the way you describe. >> i have to stand with my number is. i have not been given alternative numbers although i know you will supply them for the record. >> no know. i'm not -- >> i know you dispute the concept. i hope to have different numbers as for those who do or don't have another job besides your core. >> and what i'm saying is -- >> you get the concept, i understand. a id has, excuse my putting it this way, god out full personnel shortage in afghanistan. this is not criticism. you have shortage of personnel everywhere. you are doing what can. is and is the case that s/crs is giving to afghanistan so few people that -- i'd be interested in your characterization. i know you want to befriend and you're grateful for whatever they give you, not how many
people, s/crs is giving a id in afghanistan, my own characterization which you can accept or reject them as a handful of people. that is less than 20. but you tell me. >> thank you, commissioner. first, i do want to acknowledge that we and s/crs have worked very closely together, and i have highly regarded and respected ambassador herbst's leadership in taking on a very tough task, state department is coordination in reaching out to a id and others. that's the first thing i want to say. the second is that when i went out to afghanistan again, maybe about a year ago or so, i was impressed with a couple of very sharp officers there who had organized a coordination group
at the embassy. and i was very pleased to see that those were s/crs officers. i think they have no sense of finish their time and recycle back to washington. there are -- i don't have the precise numbers, but -- >> is under 2 20 approximately correct? >> i think under 20, my count would be, certainly correct. from my understanding. to the extent what we have reached into the s/crs -- >> my time is limited, and i will just say when we talk about numbers so small, i cannot understand what the state department hides behind s/crs in refusing to look at reform proposals like segars and i expect like ours, it is a small agency, a small agency. it's not its own fault. mr. beaver, i want to ask you about the kabul power plant. my time will expire but will have a later round will pick it up there.
the public has kind of nickname did the white elephant of kabul. i want to see if it lives up to that characterization. i know you're proud of the plant, i can do is proud of the plant. just now being completed i'm sure it will make a contribution, but i want to look at its sustainability. this is the first thing that's been in public since sigar published two very important reports, one on the 20th of january, just about this play, and one of the 15th about energy in afghanistan generally. let's start with a sustainability. a id take to make this plant something costly, and i would say wildly overambitious, by making it a dual fuel plant that runs it on diesel fuel, which is that you of afghanistan, that's natural. or heavy fuel oil for which there is no distribution network in afghanistan. heavy fuel oil is much harder to use. it is lower quality, leftover fuel. it needs far more technical
skills than the afghans have. the afghans have said they won't even dare use heavy fuel oil for the first two years. sigar has said that the improper use of heavy fuel oil could lead to the complete failure of the generators. we know, this sounds very similar to a non-sustainability in iraq. i want to ask, can you bring yourself to admit, perhaps in retrospect, it was a mistake to build it on that basis? and even if you can't go that far, could you say you've taken on a real risk about sustainability with this power plant? >> just to make this short, we can go into this later, or later for two frc, i certainly would agree with the second point, commissioner, that it is a risk. there's always the risk for sustainability. this particular plant was a high-end model, but it was built
in blocks so that it could be adapted. we knew from the beginning that the fuel supply was going to be a key question, but all of these kinds of programs and projects, they take years and rations over multiple administrations, in this case, and multiple ambassadorships and aid directors. what we have negotiate with the afghan government is the importance of them taking the responsibly for the fuel supply. it is important for that fuel to be checked, cleaned and verified before it is used in equipment, or in fact you can ruin the equipment. however, i think if you were to talk to the people of couple they would complain less about power supply now than they did a year or two ago, especially in the wintertime. what we did know at the time that this plant was being put together, was whether the northeast power supply system with power wheeled from the central asian republics was asked what going to ever make it to kabul.
this was a guaranteed insurance program. in fact, at times when a power supply has gone down, either because of sabotage or otherwise, this plant has kicked in and kept the power flowing to the city. so there are, there are some good reasons to have this backup system which is really meant to supplement old thermal station in town as well as the lack of high capacity during the peak winter times. thank you. >> if you would excuse me, i'm going to do one more question, thanks to the grace of my two cochairs. you said this was a high-end plant. that strikes me as an underestimate. i will try some numbers and you can disagree. this plant is costing about 22 cents a kilowatt hour. power from the main competitor which is a power line from uzbekistan all the cost 6 cents a kilowatt hour, about one-fourth as much. i know you have strategic reasons for not wanting, when i
see you, both united states and afghanistan have these reasons, but price was 22 cents versus 6 cents. civil servants, not just serve anybody out there, the press, but civil servants in the relevant who have been in the relevant ministries of afghanistan said the country cannot afford this. it costs out that it is causing, if it is run at full capacity, pressed the diesel fuel at a reasonable price like 1 dollar a liter which might even be low over the term of time, cost $280 million which is one-third of the entire afghan national budget. $280 million. is a poor country. aren't the afghans going to be dependent for us -- let me ask you, what do you reasonably expect the afghan government to be able to pay for this? next year five years? 10 years?
15 years? put a number of years on the. when will the poor afghans be able to afford this high-end power plants? >> by heidi and i was comparing it to what was there before, which is the old decrepit northwest kabul powerstation that the american people kept functioning all through the period since we dispersed the taliban in late 2001. as far as the costs go, no question, this is more expensive per kilowatt hour. that's on the assumption that you get the kilowatt hour is coming in from the central asian republics on a reliable basis. power gets very expensive when you don't have it at all in terms of the impact on families, business and economy, hospitals, and everything else. also, customers in the kabul a which is not in the 5 million population, pay a very high
price for kilowatt hour that they have to depend on when the central asian republics applies words there in the old decrepit system was not working, so it's probably a lot closer to the 22 cents that they were spending per kilowatt hour for their family or commercial needs. than the sixth sense. in terms of the $280 million being a third of the national budget, the numbers are right but i'm not sure the $208 million will be the end cost to the consumer base because that plant that we built is meant for peaking power, meant for emergency standby power. so assuming the central asian republics apply the power from the neps system, i'm not sure, i would have to check and get back to you on that number. as far as the budget and how much can afghan afford. that's a good question. that's a good question we've all asked about ourselves about everything we do in afghanistan.
including the expenditures on what will eventually be 300,000 troops and police forces. that's probably seven or eight or 10 times the current revenue base of the government of afghanistan. this pales by comparison. so i think -- >> they will have to be contributed -- >> mr. bever, i hate to cut you off but i have so exceeded my time. thank you. >> naked, commissioner tiefer. commissioner henke, please be back telemann, good morning. i have a question for each of you on national security, presidential directive 44, signed in the semper 2005. i'm sure you are all very for money with it from the point of inception now to the point of implementation. and the subject of the directive from the president is management of interagency efforts in reconstruction and stabilization, which is exactly what we're here to talk about
today. one of the proverbial bottom line for the directive is very clearly pends the rose on the secretary of state for leadership on interagency operations. the secretary of state shall coordinate and lead integrated u.s. government operations efforts to conduct stabilization and reconstruction activities. one of the duties in their, ambassador, and others is what the specific duties is to identify lessons learned, and to integrate them into operations. so my question for each of you is, if you could each identify for us to war three lessons learned for recent operations that have been implemented into what is currently going on in either iraq or afghanistan. so just to work to examples from each of you, there is a saint,
demonstrable examples. and examples that are not what we're going to do the next time we do in afghanistan, or what we're going to do in five years, but things that have already changed the dynamic, the operational tempo, what i'm really getting at is large organizations and how they are naval and able to learn quickly. so it each of you would give us two or three lessons learned that are effective today. >> one of the most important lessons we learned in iraq, and for that matter afghanistan, was the importance of integrating with civilians and military do. so our staff went out to each american prt in afghanistan and helped write plans for civil operations. we did the same in rc-east and rc south, we created a similar group at the embassy in kabul
that wrote a national plan of similar operations. that is learning from the past come is something that has been done, it has improved our efforts in afghanistan. also, studying what was going on in the ground, our folks in afghanistan, a small number but have had important functions, came up with the concept of district teams, district teams to go at levels below the prt. and those are factoring in now under general mcchrystal. >> district teams to do what, sir? >> to oversee the provision or help the afghan government provide services to establish a civilian presence at a more local level below provincial centers. >> okay. transixty? mr. bever? >> i was a very important lesson learned is listen carefully to our host country, come host country's civil society and host
country private sector and to try to do what we to do what they want. and in that regard i think one of the lessons learned here in the case of afghanistan is how we have tried very hard to link our program to the afghan national develop an strategy. i was a on a more operational level from and accountability perspective, the lesson we've learned the hard way over time is that your ig is like your in house physician. you want him or her with you all the time that you may not like the procedures they use, but you want to know the results and diagnoses so you can deal with it. and so we have called in the ig for concurrent audit in our programs. they are resonant with us that we think this is the best practice for these kinds of programs. and the third i think would be to say -- will, to others. won his grant mechanisms. early in a convert, and you have learned is held in not only have a conflict mechanism as well as other experienced officers, but
to be able to have quick response with very quick moving grant mechanisms that were we can mobilize thousands of small activities very quickly. we did this both in iraq and afghanistan. finally a real lesson learned for me was to reach out for foreign service national corps of usaid around the world and to get the best of them to come into these conflict zones as a third country nationals to supplement our american staff. thank you. >> sir, the prior two remarks covering an enormously rich ground. i'm not sure there's much i can add, but i will add one thing, and that is, certainly the point about the district teams and related to that civilian embeds in our regional military command i think has been very significant. but the one lesson i learned is we need to think harder about how we collect lessons learned. there is always a tension between i would call first
person lessons learned, how i did, and third person lessons learned, how they did it. and the level of bias or independents is clearly going to be weighed in relation to first and third person. we are looking very hard at systems and processes that rely and, in fact, work on our current i.t. capacity to have masses of people with experience to contribute to a lessons learned dialogue. there's needs to be a referee for that, because there will always be a certain noise factor. and we're looking hard at how to institutionalize that within the department of defense, and more broadly for the interagency. i would underscore in this capacity the establishment of a center for complex operations at the national defense university, stood up last year and working on lessons learned, best
practices is part of their charter, and we hope they will in time produce a very good covert way forward on how we comply with a lessons learned. >> dr. schear, what is the lesson learned that is applicable or not just applicable, but being applied to the current operation in afghanistan? >> well, that one has to start with a lessons learned is up front. you can't be attacked on the very end it would have to be looking systematically and merely. at field practices, the returns for all levels from the subdistrict, district all the way up to the national level in the host nation. so i would say the lesson is, let's start with the collection and evaluation process up front. >> mr. bever, your first point, could you elaborate on, was listen to what the host government, the host nation government wants and desires, could you elaborate and tell us how that is being done today?
and why it is different than it was six or seven years ago. >> in the case of afghanistan, obviously we tried from the beginning to work with our afghan government counterparts. there wasn't much of a civil society available in time, find, and very little in the private sector to deal with. overtime with our help and others, and their own internal leadership, they have enhanced those. gradually, they managed to put together something they themselves are very proud of which is the afghan national development strategy. it is not budget. it is not a budget tight strategy, however. and it lacks prioritization. so it is still a work in progress, too. but it gave us a framework with our people's money to put the money against those things which the the afghans themselves their leaders, believe and the reformers believe is important. whether it is in the health sector, whether it is in the agriculture sector, education sector, or deepening governments into their society. that's what we have framed our
money around. as has the afghan reconstruction trust fund which is a multi-donor mechanism that is also key to that national devoutness strategy. so it's a framework and a tool, which helps us to minimize duplication, doesn't guarantee it, but helps us to minimize the duplication both between federal agencies and between us and the donor. . .
and i'm going to start with an observation that echoes my cochair's position on this. i have watched with increasing concern over the last couple decades over the militarization of our foreign policy. and i think i first became aware of that when the admiral who commanded -- was a combatant commander in the pacific was able to get meetings with heads of states that our ambassadors were not able to get because it was, in fact, the admiral who had access to the resources that they could not bring to bear in those countries with those partnerships. i hope the delays in responding to secretary gates' proposal will in the end to be worth the wait as you said, ambassador herbst. co
goat water nichols took us is long time but i think we're in a better position today having gone through that painful process. you also talked this morning about the process of coordination. in my experience there are three kinds of coordination one is it's a meeting on your calendar every month or every quarter and you go in and you say what you're doing and the other person says what they're doing and then you go back to your real jobs. the second kind is you go in and you say, you know, i need some help here. and your partner says, i'm sorry but my boss says i have other objectives and i really don't have the time or the resources to help you. and then the third kind is the kind that, you know, we hope we all can get to which is i need some help and your partner says well, that's not exactly in my lane but i can find somebody who can help you or i'll free up some resources because, in fact, we are after the same objective here. so let me just ask you for a result of some of the coordination that you all have been talking about in the process. and if i could, i would like to
refer to the cerp program. that is something that presumably you all are meeting on, i think, in one of your statements you've said that there is now more of a civilian component in looking at and approving cerp projects. can any of you give me an example of a project that was turned down that a commander came forward with because of the civilian -- the participation of the civilian agencies? i'll start at the end, dr. schear? >> thank you. i actually cannot give you a good example because i have not been working at that level to refine my understanding of the actual results of the process. i know it's an important priority. possibly my colleague, jim bever could speak to that. >> on those that have been turned down i'm going to have to research that but i can give you some examples of ones where we
coordinated bertha i'm proud of. and, you know, this has been an evolution. when this cerp and its -- you know, its ancestor, shall we say were started in 2002, 2003 even it was highly constrained mechanism. even then we tried to coordinate with our military colleagues at bagram at the time. but what we see now is an effort as much as possible at the prt level and it's not -- it's not perfect. it's an imperfect situation. but there's a hard effort at these prts to try to coordinate what has with cerp money and what happens with the civilian money. i think there's a growing appreciation by our military colleagues that what you might do with cerp first and foremost you want to do no harm.
second, you ideally what you want to do with cerp to fulfill something that's part of a continuum of development that can be picked up by others. ourselves, the british, the afghan government themselves. and that it's somehow coordinated with the center planning, for example, construction of school. that it's actually on the ministry of education's plans that they will have teachers, the books, the maintenance and everything else for that particular location and it's not duplicating the fact that there's another school up the valley and they could all be going to the same facility or the same teachers. an example i would give you that i'm aware of is one related to the destruction of some bridges in the south along the kabul kandahar highway. these are bridges that we built at considerable expense and loss of life in order to build those bridges. a year ago they were blown up by
either criminal or taliban elements. and when the -- and it slowed down the traffic and it led to other problems. what we found was cerp had some money that they could put into it. we didn't feel it was appropriate for us to put additional aid money into it. it was a military need as well as a civilian need. and what our military colleagues did and what our people did at the prt and i think it was in zabul calat was to allow our military colleagues to use implementing mechanisms and implementors that had originally built that bridge to rebuild it with cerp money. so there was very close coordination on that. and that's the kind of thing we want to see more of. thank you. that's kind of the example i can give you right now. >> thank you. and ambassador herbst, i'm going to change my question a little bit for because mr. bever did give me that example. we had a hearing last week as you know and one of the
witnesses at that hearing who had spent an awful loss of time on the ground in afghanistan made the point that s/crs had lobbied to get more involved in on the ground implementation of projects but that it had not able to do so. and it was, therefore, being marginalized. so you would, based on your testimony this morning, you would not agree with that characterization? >> so that i understand the question, his point was we lobbied to be more involved in projects in afghanistan? >> yes, that's correct, uh-huh. and you hadn't been able to get in. >> i would -- i would agree with that characterization. >> there are a number of points. the first point we have been asked to do specific things in afghanistan where our staff brings unique value. so we are responsible for all the planning that has taken place. we've been asked to get involved in other projects where they needed people who could be put
together quickly and do the job so, for example, ambassador holbrooke needed a team to go out and help with the elections. manage it from the u.s. perspectives. u.s. was not responsible for the elections as a whole. we put together a team of a number of 8 in a matter of few weeks by ambassador tim carney and we asked for strategic communications. when unama need help with analysis in the capacity of the office of president of afghanistan for managing the afghan national development strategy they came to us to ask to send people out and we sent people out. so these things we've all done. now, we are not given the size of the civilian response corps able to provide a significant portion of the civilian uplift. if we had been given money in 2007 rather than 2008, we would have had -- those numbers we have available to us 12 months ago, but we didn't. what we have, though, is a capacity which is growing by the day and which will be available
for future operations. not numbers of many hundreds but of a few hundred. >> and my time is up now but i'm going to come back to resources next round. >> i'm going to figure out to push that talk button yet. thank you, commissioner zakheim, please. >> thank you very much. first of all, i want to associate myself with co-chairman thibault's comments as commissioner schinasi did. i think this is a bipartisan concern and i really think your agencies need to take note of it particularly the state department. secondly, ambassador herbst, all three of you actually i know reasonably well and you're all terrific public servants. i got some issues, though, with some of your agencies that you're associated with. and one of them, ambassador herbst, springs from the answer you just gave commissioner henke on my right here. you mentioned iraq and afghanistan. but i look at this map.
and i don't see a single person from s/crs in iraq. why? >> the simple answer is we have not been asked to go in. although we've not been asked to go in, that's correct. but although it is true that i had a conversation a couple of weeks ago with cameron who was in baghdad and we discussed with him how we might be helpful. >> so what you're telling me is in spite of the fact that we're so desperately short of civilians, and in spite of the fact that the secretary of defense wrote to the secretary of state that he has prepared to support state department on this and in spite of the fact that you're building up a special response corps, nobody has yet asked you for anything definitive on iraq? >> as i said, yes. >> okay. thank you. then let me ask you something else. you say you have 86 active folks right now; correct?
and this builds on my colleague commissioner tiefer's questions. we desperately need people in afghanistan. you just responded to the commissioner on that. how come you have people in ecuador, in bangladesh, in panama. last time i checked panama wasn't suffering from a major internal conflict. in paraguay -- could you explain that, please. >> first of all, let's talk about the staffing of afghanistan. >> no, actually i'd like -- >> i will come to your question. but it's important to understand. i think you're setting up a false dichotomy. if we had a civilian response core fully built with the civilian uplift i think it's been safe to say we've been asked to provide a number of civilians going into afghanistan but since we did not because the civilian uplift began a year ago and we'd only had funding at that point for less than six months, we did not have serious resources. as a consequence, when they were staffing for afghanistan they
used the same model they used for iraq. and that same model involved bringing in contractors. using some civilians who are currently in the u.s. government but also bringing in contractors. it's that simple. now, i'll answer your question regarding what are we doing with other things. the civilian response capacity we are building is meant one to help with the ongoing conflict situations and, two, to help prevent the appearance of ongoing conflict situations. there are in each country we've been stability questions which we've helped address. but point of fact, until we have a substantial -- until we have a substantial civilian response corps, you say you're not in afghanistan in a major way is a false argument. >> wait a minute here. you're saying that you have made -- not you but the state department has made a choice that with its limited civilian response corps resources, the man or woman on the margin goes to panama and the contractor goes to afghanistan?
is that what you're telling me? >> i'm telling you that the folks -- the office which is responsible for staffing afghanistan makes decisions as too whom to send. >> and that's in the state department. >> that is in the state department. and that is not -- that is not in my office. my office has provided the names of people who are available for afghanistan. it's also true -- it's also true that since we have a mechanism, which is working now for staffing civilians into afghanistan, it's useful to have a capacity in reserve for other things that may and will come up. >> okay. look, you've just proved my point that i don't have a problem with you. i have a problem with your agency because there's some office that's making these decisions and for the life of me i'm -- maybe i'm just simple-minded but i can't figure out how those decisions are being made. let me ask you this, when you say there are 19 people or 16 or whatever the number is, less than 20, i guess, the number is, right, charles -- less than 20, are they full-time equivalents
or people who are there the whole time or are the people rotating in and out? how does it work? >> we have sent people to afghanistan in many capacities. some of them have gone just for a few months. but the embassy has asked us -- basically going back 10 months when we send people out we send them for a year. so the people go out for a year, when they go out for a year they come back and they're working on afghanistan from our office. so the people who then we send out in their stead are being back-stopped by folks who really know the place. and then after they are back in our office for a time we ship them back out to afghanistan so the folks we are sending are high value and they're much desired. >> okay. mr. bever, i didn't want to let you off the hook entirely at least, jim. let me ask you this, you say that people from a.i.d. are involved now in the decisions regarding cerp, there's some degree of interface. isn't it the other way around. does the military sit in on your decisions regarding how you use your a.i.d. funds?
>> well, first, you know, the final call for the cerp is the commanders. it's his authority. it's also his responsibility and it's his accountability or hers. and so we consult but it's not like everyone has a veto power. >> okay. >> in the end it's the commander as it should had been >> and do they consult with you the same way? >> and the piece of a.i.d. -- the a.i.d. officer or the field program officer, again, if you're talking the prt, they will usually reach out because, frankly, they're all living together. they're all in very tight quarters. they see each other all the time and they meet very frequently. does the military officers know or care about everything we're doing? no. just like we don't necessarily know or care everything they may be doing. but there's a lot of give-and-take. so we're open to their thoughts and their ideas and frankly part of it is because we need them for the security. and part of it is we want to
coordinate what roads we're going up and down and what roads we're building. for example, in marjah right now, one of the key things we will be doing is completing a major important road up there. so the -- we consult very closely with the military on that and vice versa. >> the ring road started in roughly 2002 when i was coordinator for afghanistan. so here we are eight years and, you know -- two administrations later really if you count bush's two administrations. the ring road finished. >> i think there's still some small sections in the northwest north of the farria province along the, you know, where the area -- where the silt and the sand is very difficult for road construction. i think the asian development bank had agreed to take that area. i don't think they're quite finished. if they are, it's just been very recently. the question to me on the ring road, which was a huge investment -- >> is that the only part that's unfinished?
>> as far as i believe, i think that's the only part that's really unfinished. so it was a vision. everybody had. the afghans first and us also and it's taken quite a few years to do. we did the kabul, kandahar and herat under budget cost but what we didn't that it would cost so many lives and the loss of lives to build the secondary roads on the country. the second thing i would just say on the ring road is the deterioration of security on the ring road over time has been tragic. >> mr. schear, bhooirnl is up. -- my time is up. i'll be back to you. >> thank you, commissioner. commissioner green, please. >> thank you. all of us up here have different
priorities in the contracting arena areas that we think are more important than others. i for one don't know that there's any area that the commission is looking at that is more important than coordination. the opportunities for waste, not to mention fraud and abuse but waste are just -- they're huge. we have got -- as we all know, a lot of policies and procedures. and, in fact, statutes in place that tell us, direct us, encourage us to do a better job. but we're not doing a great job. maybe we're doing a better job than we were five years ago but we're not doing a good job.
i don't know whether it can be attributed to resources, staff and money. whether it's focus. whether it's roles and missions. whether it's just plain on leadership or whether it's turf. i don't know why we're not doing better. it's my understanding that both of the departments represented here -- and i'm not excluding usaid but the department of state and the department of defense are not in agreement with the proposal made by the special i.g. for iraq reconstruction on usoco. and i'm not supporting or defending that one way or the other. i've also got to assume that by the delay that i would be very surprised if the department of
state supports the proposal made recently by secretary gates to secretary clinton. i'm just assuming that that is happening because i think if they were in agreement, they would have been back in a nanosecond saying i love it. let me just say this, and then i'd like some responses -- we've never had a defense secretary who has been so supportive of development, diplomacy, smart power, if you will. he ain't going to be there forever. we ain't going to be here forever. sigar and sigir ain't going to be here forever. and hopefully these two wars at some point will be over. what is your incentive to do something.
we don't agree with any proposals that have been made. are we going back to the same old stuff again? how -- i'd like to hear from each of you on that. ambassador herbst? >> we have a great incentive to, quote-unquote, do something. and our office represents an effort to bring together the interagency completely for managing civilian -- excuse me, managing complex operations. to do this properly we need to have the civilian response corps built up and we have to use it once we build it up. we need to make sure we have all eight agencies engaged. and they are. and we need to make sure the decisions they're taken on an interagency basis. but again, our office has only been effectively empowered for 18 months. and permitted to work as we're
starting to work right now, we will be able in front a year to field a couple hundred people for our mission and ensure that it involves the full agency and we're committed to achieving that full objective. secretary clinton believes in smart power. and we represent smart power. >> i don't doubt that the department thwarts embracing smart power but i have sat through years there in that department when you fought -- when we fought for every nickel and what i'm concerned about is once the champions of this -- and i mentioned a few of them, go away, the people that are putting the pressure on, if you will, we go right back to the same old stuff. >> if two or three years from now the civilian response corps is trying to achieve 264 active
members and 2,000 standby members and we have used them in some operations and people have seen the good results, good results which come not just from those numbers on the medium size, not the -- but also from the coordination, this process will be institutionalized. >> okay. mr. bever? >> well, commissioner, you've certainly laid out very important challenge. and to put it in even starker terms than i had thought about before. because we do have the advantage right now of some leadership within this administration and we should take maximum opportunity for that leadership. what we're involved in right now is secretary clinton and our agency is the quadrennial development and diplomacy review. one of the key committees of that process deals with conflict stabilization kinds of issues.
i will take your question back to that committee as well. and we are looking at that. but i don't want to telegraph -- it's not appropriate yet in this hearing to telegraph what some of the discussions have been there. i would just say that i agree with the earlier comments that these kinds of issues are going to continue whether in how long afghanistan continues. there will be other issues out there in the world that will demand this kind of a response. a.i.d. is an agency. in the end it's all about our people. our people and our systems and the courage of those people in how smart those people are. our challenge is recruiting the best people. retaining the best people. and building those lessons back into our procedures. and in terms of coordination, i
would use your characterization that it is better than it used to be. and we also look to the national security council for some of that coordination among our agencies and a policy directive. and we also coordinate under special representative for afghanistan and pakistan which i think has been a good initiative for bringing agencies of the federal government together around one table that normally we would not have met together on a weekly basis. both ambassador herbst and i do that every week. i'll just close with that comment. >> dr. schear? >> sir, you're raising a series of concerns that i think are absolutely legitimate that we have to look very seriously at. i would add at some risk of sounding a little bit too scholarly here, the instrument of contingency operations and our understanding of how to work
that in a stabilization and reconstruction manner will be affected -- is affected by the environment. the environmental character of our global security right now very much features persistent irregular conflicts where countering insurgency requires especially within the department of defense a whole series of practices and training from the whole spectrum of capacity-building within our department focuses in ways we couldn't really have imagined with great prescience a decade ago, even though we had vietnam several decades ago. population-centric operations and the types of activities and equipment. we need the types of methods. we undertake, i think, underscore the need for civil military cooperation at every level. this is not about shooting our way to victory.
i believe as general mcchrystal has stated. this is about persuasion. about bringing various audiences in these complex venues over to legitimate governance which we can support and sustain and eventually hand off to. so i think for all those reasons i think there will be a continued legacy and experience. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> i just -- you know, i am not an academic. i'm a very practical person who has lived through the battles at the state department particularly in funding an emphasis. and what i don't want to see is an opportunity lost because the champions will go away. and i'm not promoting usoco. i'm not promoting the gates solution. i'm not promoting an nsc solution.
i don't know what the solution is but you three guys and others are going to have to come up with a better way to do it. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner green. my cochair, commissioner shays, please. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this seems more like a scholarly discussion than i would like. and it kind of puts us all to sleep. i'm trying to think of some way to wake us all up here. and one of the things that i think of is the lack of coordination costs billions and billions and billions of dollars. huge waste. which means that we don't optimize the dollars that we spend. it also results in the loss of lives in our military, the lost of lives in our diplomatic corps, the lost of lives in our civilian civil servants, the loss of lives of u.s. contractors, allies, our nato friends, the loss of lives of local nationals, both as contractors and as civilians and
the loss of lives of third country nationals. that's the bottom line. so it's a huge, huge issue. would any of you deny that the lack of coordination has resulted in serious cost of money not that it's your fault. but the lack of coordination and the loss of lives because we haven't optimized our military and we haven't succeeded in rebuilding a nation like we want to? i don't need a long answer. i'll start with you, ambassador. we'll go right down the line. >> certainly coordination has been problematic in the past. it's been getting better. and it -- >> that's not the question i asked. i asked, has the lack of coordination resulted in wasteful money and the loss of lives? >> i think it's safe to say -- >> it's not a hard question, ambassador. >> coordination could be better. and the absence of effective coordination has led to losses.
>> loss of lives and the waste of money? >> i think you could -- >> ambassador, the fact that you have a difficult time saying it is more concern than anything. it's a no-brainer it seems to me. let me interrupt you a second. this is a hearing to which we want to know is this something that really registers with you? and if you can't tell me it doesn't cost the loss of lives and the loss of money -- i gave you the easy question. the hard questions are to follow. >> there's no question that there have been losses in money. have there been losses in lives, perhaps so. >> perhaps? so it's just a money issue. it's not an issue of using our forces more successfully? don't you think that if we are able to help the iraqi -- the iraqis and the afghans that this would help bring peace sooner, therefore, not cost lives? that's kind of like basic it
seems to me. >> better coordination would lead to better results including victory faster, yes. >> and, therefore, not the waste of money and the loss of lives; correct? >> presumably. >> presumably, is that the way you want the record to say? you can't say yes. again -- >> it's not a hard question. mr. bever? ..
>> so we always -- >> attribute her, i was in congress. we didn't appropriate the money that we need for coordination. so i don't put you out there as somehow you have caused the loss of lives, or that you have wasted money. i put us all in this together. and it seems to me you deal with reality and from reality you make good decisions. and it strikes me again like the ambassador, it's hard for you to say what is reality. i'm giving you a chance, doctor. >> sir, i am quite sure that, looking back over the past eight years, yes, there has been waste
associated with the lack of coordination and very likely the loss of life, although i cannot verify your surge with any concrete examples that i would however at this point, we have to think about the quality of coordination that you are underlining here. in many cases, it's a lack of coordination between those who have good situational awareness, understand the human terrain that where we are operating in a wartime setting, and those who are responsible for actually designing and executing projects. that -- and i underscore a recent article, by major general flynn on intelligence on this. i think that level of coordination is key. finally i would have to say and a wartime setting there is the cost of local loss of life. i don't know how many girls schools in southeastern afghanistan have been hit and how many students have been hurt or killed, but that's also a factor i would add an.
>> if i was answering the question i would've just said yes. and the fact that you'll have such such a struggle in saying the obvious, i didn't ask the question because it was so obvious. otherwise why are we here? if it's not costing money and it's not costing lives, and you guys are wasting your times trying to a better coordination. so it was a no-brainer. and if i was a professor, it wouldn't be a good grade. and speaking of professors, there's a story of some harvard students who thought they would be smart and go up to maine to study for the weekend for a final exam. and they had, for whatever reason, they didn't study. and they were prepared to take the exam, so they decide to miss it and come back and tell the professor that they had a flat tire and so that's why they were late. he said no problem, no problem. and he said i'll give you the
exam. he put them in four separate rooms. there were four of them. and he asked him one question. and the question was, which tire? i would be tempted to ask each of you to tell me how you coordinate with each other and not have you be in the same room, just to see and satisfy myself whether the answer would be the same. i can't do that, so we will start with you, ambassador. had you courtney with mr. bever and mr. scheer? how do you coordinating with usaid and d.o.d.? >> with the d.o.d. and ait i have members on my staff. one of my day piece is from usaid to ensure close coordination. i have several members from d.o.d. who were detailed to my staff. in the reconstruction and stabilization ipc, which i share these two agencies said, jim
scheer is my principal at osd to talk about developing capacity. and gemini for together on a variety of things as he is mentioned. our coordination is comprehensive that it is in my office. and it makes every work product we produce. when we deploy people to those countries, which dr. zakheim spoke about, that has involved a process. >> so you have 86 people. how me are in iraq, how many in afghanistan? >> we have no one in iraq right now. we have i believe it is 20 in afghanistan today, but i can confirm you that. >> so nobody in iraq to coordinate? >> correct. we have already explained why. >> mr. bever? >> representatives from ambassador herbst group me with us every week. where we have our own interagency meeting at usaid headquarters. it includes representatives from the department of defense, treasury, health, human services
and others. agriculture include it. we also meet regularly, weekly, along with other assistant secretary level, undersecretary level, officers at the state department. we made at our deputy assistant secretary levels and that the deputies committees. that's all here in washington. in the field, as well, obvious at the region of commands and kabul. in the case of our colleagues from the pentagon, that's almost daily, hourly, coordination effort with, especially the pakistan-afghanistan coordination unit that has been set up at the pentagon. we also have military representation at a id in our office of military affairs. they work on my task force and we meet regularly. that is your shimbun. in the field, that's as i said an ongoing exercise. we have liaison officers at the lieutenant colonel and colonel
level in our resident mission, and kabul sitting inside our offices, both with us and with our agriculture colleagues who are also in our office. >> mr. schear? >> yes, mr. chairman. as ambassador said, i just sit on interagency policy committee for reconstruction and stabilization. that gives us my office and his a good opportunity to interact very intensively on a wide range of issues. i would also add that there is an nsc role in interagency coordination, particularly relevant to that is the point made by several of you about secretary gates' proposal on shared responsibility, pooled resources. there is a larger interagency review on security sector assistance, which had an appropriate point will turn its attention to the secretary's proposals. so it is an ongoing process. i place a high premium on active
nsc involvement in interagency coordination in this area. >> mr. bever, mr. schear, would you each get the three people in the officer to work with? transixty? rob gibbons is one of them at my level that we work with. he is usually the debian acting deputy to ambassador herbst. >> anybody else to? that's the one idea with. >> do you deal with anyone else because there are staff people that come to our weekly meeting. >> mr. schear? >> mr. mcnamara who is the chief of plans and mr. jenkins who i believe has actually just rotated out, but to be replaced shortly. >> i will just conclude, because i hope we have three rounds, not too. my view of smart power isn't soft our. my view is it is the use of hard and soft our. and it strikes me that one of the challenges, mr. hertz, why we did not set you up soon
enough is we were not willing to do with reality, and that was we were into nation building to give your into nationbuilding, or state government, whatever you want to call it, it means that we got to put more resources into usaid and into state to do that job. and a failure to do that has resulted in our being six years behind. it means our troops will be in iraq and afghanistan, particularly afghanistan longer than they need to be which means that means their lives are in danger longer. it meets all the contractors who are there, their lives are in danger longer. and so i would like us to talk, my next round will be about the whole concept of nationbuilding or state building. thank you, gentlemen. >> thank you, commissioner. we will start a second round now, and we will start with myself. i want to go back, i love my second area of discussion, but
i'd like to calibrate also offer the initial remarks about the importance of very senior level executive secretarsecretary to secretary discussions, and i'm smiling because it's already now called the gates proposal. and secretary gates, in his presentation, and i want to read this because it's real important. i would propose do he doesn't care all to the was accomplished, as long as an improvement is accomplished. because in his presentation or his statement, he said, and i'm pulling sends out, unlike the existing structure and processes left over from the cold war, and he sort has a history to be able to make that statement, which often he's talking about the current processes, which often conspire to hinder true whole of government approaches. but talk about the whole of government. and then he says regardless of what approach we take to reform
and modernize america's partner capacity apparatus, whether it is something like the proposal i just mentioned or some other thing, so i think he was trying to say it's time. and i think it is clear. so i don't think he was one unique proposal, and i put that out there. i have a comment on the qddr. i think it is a very good process and we're spending billions of dollars a month. in iraq and afghanistan. whether it is qdr or qddr, i've been involved in them. they recommend very powerful, very important study groups and things like that. and it stretches it out. well, there is an immediate need. so i think that's an opportunity lost. someone mentioned it before. and then the thing i would like to talk about is, if several of you have referenced we are moving in the right direction. i think there's a lot of progress being made but i don't think we're moving -- i don't think you can make the mistake
we are moving in the right direction. and have it withstand close scrutiny. and i'd like to talk about one partnership that's ongoing that is not a partnership at all, and that is there's a significant afghan national army and afghan national police action in process involving coordination. those organizations. this commission sat, and there's a transition going on from state department in many of the aspects to the department of defense. and this commission sat in on a briefing by the program executive who had been handed the contract that he was going to use. and i was the one, it could've been anyone who asked him the question, so he made his great presentation, straight shooter, really knew the procurement business. we're talking about a wartime contract, and i asked him, so
what have you done with state department? and he is answer was, nothing. and i said why not? isn't the incumbent state department? and his answer was i was told not to. and i know everyone was going, because it was a big protest, it will take the course it will take, but they're going to have everybody out of there the first of january, have a program accomplished. and now we're into the end of july with the incumbent, and i would propose to you that lack of initial coordination, cause that. and then doctor, i will talk about intra- agency which is part of what leads him to interagency. i again asked the question, $300 million on one of the contracts was for life-support. now what is a life-support rhyme with? it rhymes with logcap. but, of course, housing, feeding, in the case of ana,
dozens and dozens of locations. the united -- and a decision was made to use a contract where the bidders would be lockheed, raytheon, northrop grumman small organization called eric, and z. blackwater. so we know who is he is. and that little part of that particular program was initially going in only $300 million to grow because you don't know the expansion or the cost. and the united states army had gone through and exhaustive three-year process to identify as part of its logcap program, three exceptional contractors. those contractors are qualified that have done a good job. forget about cost issues and whatnot. forget about ethics issues. there have been some. by the customers that they dealt with said they really knew life-support. and those were not any of the five. they were kbr and dyke. it's disconnected.
was going to happen? those other companies coming out asked the question, their great program in aggressive pursuit i mentioned, they have proven track record. what's the history in feeding and housing and putting up electrons and putting in little roads and bases and burns and security and trained people to do that and hired them? zero. now blackwater has a little history on the afghan border police. if you know it. now, it doesn't seem and that's an immediate case, and that's not the only case. so my point is, i'm going to ask the two of you, give you a free rider, mr. bever, are we really moving in the right direction and the sense of leaving the impression that things are really kind of assembly and i'm building up a head of steam? or do we have real critical problems that could cause us dozens and hundreds of millions of dollars because of a lack of effective coordination?
dr. schear? >> mr. chairman, you're absolutely right to put your finger on intra-agency coordination within the d.o.d. community as you know. there are many stakeholders, the military departments, the office, the office of the secretary of defense, the combatant and commands. so i am not conversant on the particular details, that you are siding with respect to logcap. understand its importance broadly, but yes, we are only as good as our next screw up, sir. >> i my say on the logcap, i talked to logcap people. their edge to me was logcap can't do this. and my response was idled its logcap can do it. you've got great contractors. by great, well qualified contractors, who can do this work. why wouldn't they want to bid on life support in the same everywhere they have people in camps that they are supporting? in the answer is like, well, that's someone else's problem.
but, please. >> i think you have made the point very well, and what i think it does, suggest and there is an appreciation at our departments leadership level on the need for bringing all the stakeholders together. >> thank you. ambassador herbst? >> coordination has improved but it is far from perfect that the specific problem you've mentioned, i'm not in a position to respond because i just have no responsibility for but we know there are many problems. >> is your inl organization that is making that transition that rated that income and, i could care less whether that income and it works or not, but rated that income as doing a great job, but that income is not part of the future because of the interesting -- we'll have time for contracting processes that are being debated presently. so i have usurped a bit of time. i'm switching the order a little bit, if i might just to sort of give balance year. mr. hinchey, i'm going ask you, commissioner henke, to go next.
commissioner tiefer, you are after that. >> ambassador herbst, and your 2009 recap obligation that you provided to us today, you made the case that your letter is titled five years in progress. you make the case that you are steps in 2004. but then your statement is this. and i think it is very insightful. like most good ideas at birth and crs was full of vision for the future but low on resources to publish them. and then you say later in 2009 the office began to hit its stride and in the 2009 state department budget finally provided s/crs with the regular stream of funding for its operationoperations. further you go on to say despite his limitations as the artist has managed to deploy whatever assets were up it will. my question is on resources. isn't it true that you have all the resources you need in fiscal year 10 to do everything you need to do? >> the resources we have gotten fy10 budget is $150 million,
$120 million, but all designed for the civilian stabilization initiative to build a civilian response corps support and crs core staff operations. that is sufficient for us to do what's in front of his. >> right, but the point want to draw out the issuer funded -- you told the congress last year that you had reached your in state of active response corps is 250 people? >> it was 250, but we use money that was in my office has posted a civilian response were ever decide to add another 14 positioned. so we're talking about 264 active. >> fully funded by her office, right? >> that's from our money and usaid's money because they are paying for their half of the proponent numbers spin and you play a money in fiscal 10 to do that? >> yes. >> when you defended your budget to congress last year, did you tell them that you would be at
two and 50 plus or minus by the end of calendar year 2009? that's what the congressional report indicating. >> we told them we would be close to that number, just. >> your actual number is 86? >> correct. >> so there's plenty of resources, right? you have plenty of money? >> we have the money to did what we have been asked to do. we're not asking for additional money. >> just the people understand a track record, in $209,145,000,000 appropriated. and 2010 at the end of the day you at $150 million appropriate. 120 plus 30 in a id, correct? are your resources between ninth and basically tripled, is that correct? >> let me give you the funding streams. you're missing one stream. we got -- letzig, $55 million from the fy 2008 supplemental. that was 30 or s/crs and 25 for
usaid. and then in the fy 2009 budget, we received $75 million, $45 million, or s/crs, and 30 for usaid. and now in fy10 budget, we have received $150 million. so those are the three stringed. >> and for the standby response corporation, not the simple, but for the standby is 2000? >> correct. >> i just want, you are funded to provide 2000 standby members and your number onboard now is 558, 600? >> correct. >> in all cases you're about 25, 30, 35 percent of your authorized number and your funded number? >> correct. >> the resources are not an issue. >> that's correct.
>> thank you. >> can i make one point on the staffing? it's important. one, to build the standby to 2000, we're going to need flexible hiring authorities but we need flexible authorities. right now to be a member of the civilian response by legislation, you have to be an american active duty in the federal government. we have divided response between eight agencies and usaid is both to the largest percentage, 37%. because of their skills most appropriate for this of all the agencies. that means they need to provide 740 standby members. as you know, -- >> those are hires, correct? >> no, standby is not added highest. the active members are active hires. so the active members based upon the money we have, but we are building fast now. on the standby, you go to people are currently members of your agency. usaid as everyone knows had
serious drop of total staff over the last 35 years. there are helm reform services office and usaid now? you're not going to get 740 standby members from the office of core fully 1400. we have asked, and were hoping to get legislation this year, to get authorities to higher also foreign service nationals and retirees. as jim mentioned in his testimony earlier, they have done excellent service into iraq and afghanistan. if we get those authorities will be able to build a civilian response. without we will be far short. we will need that. it's a question of authority. as to building -- >> i'm confused why we're learning that five years into, that we need afford not to do something that we have provided for? >> we have wanted this all along. >> have been denied how many
times? >> were denied authorization legislation three times. we finally got in late 2008, and with that we didn't get everything we wanted. but we've been asking for, but we did not get that then. >> with a german yield? >> yes. >> i have trouble sometimes when i hear we asked what. how long is we -- who is we? >> i would say the state department i would also say the administration, the previous administration and this one. >> so we're talking about your predecessors or you? >> both my predecessor, the first two years and then me since then. >> angela benioff is how long? >> three and half years. >> last point. on the active component. we're at 86 what do. it took us several months to really get rolling. we had to in effect streamline some hiring procedures, some opn hiring procedures that we have problem with a security cleared from people for the outside. we are adding at the rate of a
couple of we, sometimes faster than the. >> i am out of time. thank you. >> thank you, commissioner henke. commissioner tiefer, please. >> thank you, chairman thibault. dr. schear, we are both in a way academics, or at least we were energy with the national defense university and the at the university of baltimore law school. and more the house of that is your old writings are still there waiting for you. i want to as you about coordination in the field and going to come to a very concrete question and not a general fluffy question about coordination. but let me get there. the afghan study group which you were a distinguished member of, do a distinction between the relatively peaceful north and west of afghanistan, and the conflicted south and east. and last week, mark schneider drew the same distinction.
and agreed with me that we should be using our tools, like and visit -- what i'm asking about his serve money, differently, in the north and west and in the south and east. and another study where you were core contributor bias or a strategic international studies, you are a core contribute and that might note that dr. zakheim was a distinguished member. so when he asked questions he knows whereof he speaks. in that study, there's challenges identified, included inadequate input from civilian agencies, cerp projects have rarely been designed with input from u.s. diplomats and develop professionals, i would translate that as a.i.d. this is a question on your behalf, mr. bever, whether you want me to do it or not.
rarely, rarely been designed with input from u.s. diplomats and professional developers who make place of those in a broader political strategy and institution building requirements. i know you can talk about the coordination on cerp and the embedding and having individual professionals from state or a.i.d. but i want to ask concretely, since elsewhere you say, the programs relied, this is cerp, on imported, usaid and other u.s. agencies has been uneven, would you be willing to say not merely input, but that on cerp projects above a threshold, give me a number. 500,000, 1 million? cerp projects above a threshold are now development at the lead agency if they are supplying personnel. should be usaid. argue for the defense department
willing to do that or does the defense department, is using, putting this away on cerp and not you willing to put a.i.d. in the legal? >> sir, i guess i'm a hostage to some of my previous writings. but i would be happy to provide you some views on that. i honestly believe that our service personnel downrange at the end of the day are pretty agnostic about how this gets done. they wanted to be done in a smart, effective way, as quickly and coherently as possible. i don't think that means that they would necessarily want to hog everything, or to offload everything. they would look pragmatically at each funding source of channel and each and come to a judgment. speed is not always, of course, you'll to the best answers. something stupid careful study. and i also would acknowledged
that our military commanders and various unit levels bring to bear a somewhat different set -- >> you won't say different when you're talking about more expensive projects at a.i.d. should have a specific larger women talk about big projects be? i'm not sure -- the inference in your question is right. cerp has never meant to be a very high cost item. it was always initial impact, quick impact as it were philosophy, very much a small-scale. whether micro grants or -- >> but your own study says it sometimes use at high money levels. you won't just say yes, at high manila for a.i.d. should have a larger role? >> i would agree with that. but i would also -- >> you'll have time at the into and. i appreciate you a green. that's a rare thing in the searing. mr. bever, i'm not -- i am not blaming afghan corruption on you. i am not.
i am far from it. 1 million miles from and. but in a study of afghan electrical system done by sigar, this study came out and it had some of the frank is writing about corruption i have seen in anybody's writing, official writings in afghanistan. and so i want to ask you to be blunt in a numerical way about the impact of afghan corruption on power, the u.s. taxpayers, expenditures. i will read a couple of sentences or two about it to capture the flavor. corruption in the energy, this is a guard, corruption in the energy sector affects afghanistan's ability to collect revenue. according to usaid, a major point of corruption in afghanistan is the electrical dish addition ross estes, according to the asian development bank, numerous witnesses in afghanistan's management of the energy sector, leave it susceptible to
corruption. consumer expectations of bribes to pay for utility services, and investor expectations of demands and bribes. it is built-in. would you agree we have numbers for what security costs in iraq. we used to say 15 to 20 percent of a development project went for security. would you be willing to say that you can pick a number far below or far above, but if you like, would you agree that 10 to 20 percent of our development money goes where a.i.d. says he goes, sagar says it goes, into afghan corruption? >> i'm not going to give you a percentage. i'm going to leave that to the ig to sagar and to the general accounting office to give us a percentage. we try our best to minimize corruption problems. and i don't recall the exact
context of that particular line, there are problems. it's not a problem by the way unique in afghanistan. you see the same difficulties in neighboring countries in that region because it weakens institutions in the inability of actually enforcing tariff corrections. >> would you say it is a lot or a little? >> on a.i.d. programs? i'm going to say it's a minimal. >> my time is up. >> thank you, commissioner. commissioner zakheim, please. >> quick question to you, mr. bever. who do you report to? >> i report to the new administrator of a.i.d., doctor birgitte shah. >> thank you. ambassadors reports to the secretary of state. mr. bever reports equivalent of
a debt the secretary. who do report to? >> i report to the undersecretary of defense for policy, assistant secretary of defense michael vick a. >> so basically you are reporting to mike vickers. do you think that is sufficient for the department that is often described as the 800-pound gorilla, that spends big bucks, even on cerp, which when i was there was 40, 50,000-dollar deal, but now gets chopped at the, correct me if i'm wrong commissioner tiefer, is over $1 million, a chopper full? >> i think so. >> do you think that is a sufficient level of coordination, that - -- how oftn do spee-2 ambassador herbst? >> on a weekly basis, we're in europe. >> odyssey if you traveled together to speak to everyday? >> not every day, no.
>> once a week? >> probably. >> do you think that is sufficient? when i was undersecretary i talked to my counterparts every day on the sorts of issues. do you think that is sufficient and? i think it is driven by the needs of the mullah. i will be happy to talk to every half-hour. >> so there isn't an urgent requirement here. i thought this ring made a pretty clear that this thing is pretty clear around here. >> our staff, our locked and loaded. >> no, no, no. stocks locked and loaded is nothing new. you heard that from commissioner schinasi. that doesn't work. so you think it is sufficient just to speak to ambassador herbst once a week? and mr. bever, use became wanted -- you speak to him once a week also? how often do speak to? >> i speak to many people speed is how often you speak to him. how often do speak to jim bever? >> very rarely because i'm not
doing continued the oversight that i am doing capabilities added to see. that is a different slice. >> fine. how often do you guys talk about corruption amongst each other. to pick up again on commissioner teachers point. ambassador herbst, how do you discuss corruption? >> where we are engaged, corruption is an issue. >> how often do you discuss it? is it on the agenda at every meeting? once a month? once every six must be? corruption as a distinct issue is not something we discuss. corruption specific operations is something we discuss. >> regularly? >> yes, regularly. >> would like to do for me? >> absolutely. >> i would like to say i commend the commission for raising the corruption issue. we do try to do with this within the context of a we do at usaid, our coordination through the special representative office and at the state department, and out at the embassy. as well as with our ig and
sigar. we're trying to work very hard with the various institutions, the afghan government. and i can -- and it comes up almost weekly with us at my level. and daily with my own staff, and those at the state department that we coordinate with. not just -- i will close wednesday at a london conference just a few weeks ago, this was a key feature of discussion among all of us of all the donors that contribute to the afghan reconstruction trust fund. we can talk more if you like. >> i heard something, and i'm not sure that i've got it right. mr. deaver, you can correct me. i understand our folks in this avoid responds or who have warned essentially as contracting expert. and a.i.d. does not use them. is that wrong? >> we have reached out to both defense department and state department to see what assets they have available that we
could look out for various fields. in the case of the defense department, i think we look at among the list that they gave us, there was a handful of people with contracting capability that met our needs and we pursued them. this is in the case of afghanistan. i believe in the case of s/crs, there may have been '02 that we look at that have that kind of background. and i think we were looking at them. i don't have the specific names. i will have to get back you on that, but procurement officers are very high valued commodity. and grant officers as well. >> i heard something quite different. finally, it ambassador herbst, how has ambassador holbrooke used the civilian response corps? >> we have provided names of civilian response corps to his office, which is responsible for staffing our people, the people many usg people in afghanistan. >> how many has he used to? >> i would have to come back to
you, but the other, he has assess to do specific things and we provided people -- i mentioned the election team. i mentioned the strategic indications team. >> so out of 86 folks, the person who is in charge of our most critical operations in the most critical part of the world has use 10%? >> well, -- >> and how often for? >> it is a plus six. okay, and this is year round or just short-term? >> the election team was there for about six or seven months. they are gone, i visited the strategic indications team is on the ground since i don't know, october or november. and him as he is now assess to do to get another election team for the coming provincial elections. >> so i was right, 10%. thank you. >> thank you, commission. commissioner schinasi, please. >> thank you.
ambassador herbst, are you going to have any intelligence analyst in your civilian response corps? >> yes. they are part of the team. >> and dr. schear, let me ask you. one of the things that we know has happened with this expansion of the military dimension into many new, i guess they are not new anymore, but into many of the reconstruction and stabilization efforts, is that the department has turned a lot to contractors to perform functions so that to free up its military for its more traditional roles. would something like a civilian response corps, would that be an alternative in your mind to higher contractors to do some of those functions? and ask that question generally, and also with respect to specific functions, particularly those of intelligence analysis. >> actually, commission, that is a very interesting question, because we have seen a growing need for civilians within d.o.d. field components.
and while i can't speak to that particular requirement for intelligence analysis and whether that might be civilian or military, i can tell you that we do have an ongoing initiative. that is beginning to take flight. is called the civilian expeditionary workforce, the cw. and it is within the department of defense intended as an estimate for resourcing civilian jobs now, and at whatever unit level we can within the field, jobs which generation ago would have been handled by officers are now handled by civilians. and the cew is our effort to appropriately resource d.o.d. operations. i'm not talking about the larger civilian component, but it is very much a work in progress. and we would be happy to look at areas where we might complement the crc. thank you. >> and ambassador herbst, are you aware of that effort? and are you looking to see
whether or not part of what you can do with a civilian corps fits in with what d.o.d. is trying to do to decrease its reliance on contractors? >> the cew i believe is two years old, and we have been kept apprised of it from its inception. and our understanding it it has been printed as agenda said to provide civilians for strictly d.o.d. related activities. where the crc that we are building is meant to be involved in stability operations. working with the society in which we are, where we're deployed people. >> i guess that raises an interesting point. your description of strictly this agency's operations are strictly that agency operations that aren't we talking about here the fact that those lines have blurred and the way that we work, you know, in those spaces and tabs are little better? isn't that what -- >> the notion of coordination of
cross agencies as a budget which has been handed to s/crs and a civilian responsible and that is to make sure what each agency does is link one with the other to produce an overall operation which makes sense, which would be affected. and it's also true that each agency may have specific tasks which it needs do. in the case of d.o.d., it is a militant organization and they need to civilians to do specific things. >> let me ask you, turn back to iraq for a minute, and your comment that you haven't been there because you haven't been asked that it seems to me iraq is in transition as much as afghanistan is in transition. it's just a different way. so we are saying the same kind of overlap or gap him or seems that are going to develop an iraq. unit, we're going to take out plan to take out 10,000 troops a month until the end of august. we are seeing functions transferred like the police training in this case, going to
the department of defense to department of state. again, i guess mr. bever is the one he used the term a continuum. but, of course, are we placing strict lines on that continuum that you throw something over the transom, or are we trying to work for integration as we move to different points along the transom, the continuum. and in that sense, i'm not sure i understand why you don't go in somewhere unless you're asked. who has to ask you and it seems a very stilted sort of formal process still that we would like to see some more fluidity and flexibility with it. >> the answer is very simple. your question assumes that we are a full up and running organization when we are not. we are an organization which has been funded for 18 months. is only gradually developing capacity. if we had 1000 people come if we had all 264 active members, plus seven or 800 standby members, then we would be able to make an
impact in a place like afghanistan or perhaps iraq. but we have 15 people we have deployed two years ago. and we got 86 today. the numbers are growing by the week. but they're not significant in operation we are talking at a thousand civilians. >> i appreciate that that is where you are into have been constrained, and part of -- >> but now we are building numbers, i have been opposed by one of our senior folks at our embassy in baghdad and we aren't discussing what we can do. it's not going to be hundreds of people. we don't have hundreds of people. but we are soon reaching a stage, by soon i mean within a year, we will be able to do something medium scale to large scale. >> i guess your sponsor commissioner henke but you're fully resourced, but your response and if you're not resourced. . .
>> thank you commissioner, commissioner green, please. >> thank you. i think there's pretty universal belief at least certainly historically that the only organization with the capability to really rebuild infrastructure and stabilize the situation is dod. that being said and recognizing, ambassador herbst, that you're trying as best you can, certainly, within the resources you have to legitimatize the role of s/crs in that area as the organization that manages and coordinates those kinds of efforts. with that in mind and this follows somewhat to commissioner
schinasi's question, looking at the drawdown in iraq and the significant reduction that we're going to see in u.s. military and dod capabilities there, how is state and usaid planning to fill that void, particularly, since you have no one in iraq? who's doing it? either one of you? >> yeah, i'll start if you'd like. >> one, i'm not responsible for our iraqi policy at the present time. there is an office that is responsible and they are taking the lead. as what i've -- >> what office is that? >> it's the iraq -- the office that deals with iraq and nea. >> so they are the ones that decide on the people? >> they are involved for staffing in iraq, yes.
>> who makes the decision? that's all i'm asking. do you need if i ask that? they make recommendations and it's by the assistant secretary and it was by special envoy james satterfield was involved in those -- >> but who decides, their numbers, their people who decides? there must be -- >> who's responsible overall for the staffing numbers for civilians? >> yeah. who makes the decision for iraq? >> i'll have to give you that answer because i'm not personally involved. >> but you -- your office is at least nominally responsible for the coordination of the activities that we've been talking about today; is that not true? we are responsible for doing this going forward. for doing this going forward. >> okay. but going forward we're going to draw down there, that's forward.
>> excuse me, going forward in future operations. not current operations. mechanisms that are established to deal with iraq starting before 2003. and our office was created in 2004 because it was recognized by late 2003 -- >> i understand all that. who in the state usaid is doing the coordination to take over the roles that dod is currently doing in iraq? >> i can get an answer for you. i don't have that answer right now. >> ambassador herbst, you mentioned in your testimony that the pace of hiring is slow. why is that? what's the long pole in the tent? are you competing with the
political mafia, the economic mafia, who is decided -- it goes back to mr. zakheim's question. who is making those decisions whether the hundred people recruited by the state department -- how they're being distributed across the bureaus? >> you're talking about the crc members? when you say the 100 people who are recruited? >> crc members. >> first, on the hiring pace, it was -- it was slow at the start because we simply followed the old rules which led to inappropriate cannons coming forward. we realized that and we then streamlined the process but if you look at the hearing you'll see clear and steady improvement. who makes the decision to use the crc, we have been in
discussion with the office of ambassador holbrooke who are hiring so they can be considered in jobs for afghanistan. they make the decisions. >> okay. but who decides of the pool of people coming into the department how they're being distributed? and are you getting your fair share? >> ah, okay. yes, we have been getting our fair share of resources over the past 18 months. it took us -- before that, no. since then, yes. >> mr. bever, related to iraq if i may just comment to your question, obviously we are -- we at a.i.d. at least are normalizing the size of our mission to one that one would normally see in this kind of development situation. it's about $250 million a year
in the fiscal year '10 request and about 130 employees between our americans and our fsns. what is going on in the mission, in the u.s. mission, the embassy is an interagency coordination effort right now to figure out between military, state and a.i.d. which of the various assets and responsibilities will be picked up by whom. and that's going on right now under general matthews and ambassador munther. so that's an interagency process to pick up including certain elements of logistic contracts, operation and maintenance activities. i would just point the commission to one key question, which is something we've always stood for going back a number of years in iraq. we had an asset transfer coordination group within the embassy. one of the things we were always most concerned about was it's one thing to sign a document and transfer it over to the finance
ministry. it's a whole other thing that they would get their agreement in that your current cost budget elements required for operation and maintenance of the assets that are being transferred. we always insisted that they had to agree that they would leave room in their budget for operation and maintenance. so as the commission looks at these questions, i would just suggest you penetratingly looking at that kind of an issue. >> ambassador herbst, one last question, to go back to one of my earlier ones, and that is you feel you're getting your fair share. what's the long pole in the tent to getting more people? >> you mean beyond the numbers we've already described? >> yeah. >> i think that we willn÷ need get congressional approval and funding for more people. i think you may know that the original concept for the civilian response corps called
fo for 2,250. use the active and the standby and show you're using it and then we'll build the reserve. i think that concept is still one we are when i did to. -- whetted to. if we build a corps of that size, we'd be able to deploy at any one time and maintain in the field as many as 1200 people. that would cover completely our needs in a place like afghanistan right now. >> okay. >> so you would call that our medium term objective. but let's build this so we can deal with it. >> okay. >> may i just add to that. i think one of the challenges for our government is how to do what ambassador herbst just mentioned year in and year out. with the structure of the way that our officers serve, which is 12-month assignments. if you look at afghanistan right now, we're approaching 1,000 u.s. government officers.
we'll tax the dynamics and the resources of all of our agencies. so -- and that's just for afghanistan. if something else comes up along the way, and i can think of one, then, you know, i think we're still struggling to figure out how to recruit, motivate, incentivize and retain these officers who just like our soldiers also leave their families behind and serve in very dangerous places. >> would the gentleman yield for one quick question? when you say 1,000 officers, that's usaid employees? >> no, in the case of afghanistan that's state department and a.i.d. and a few other places. >> thank you. >> thank you, commissioner. my cochair? >> thank you. the reason i asked about the cost of lack of coordination in terms of dollars and lives, i had two reasons.
one, i wanted to see how seriously you treat this issue in terms of a lack of coordination. and secondly, if in my mind you can't answer succinctly the most obvious question and the easiest answer, it makes me -- it difficult for me to appreciate the responses to the questions i really don't know the answer. it's kind of like the proverbial hammer that costs $400 and the toilet seat that cost $4,000 about 20 years ago when they did an investigation. everybody harmed on that. -- harped on that. what's that the occasion is the wings on the plane must really have cost a lot but nobody knows how to evaluate the wings. i'm having a hard time in this hearing having some take-aways so i'm going to first read a quote. and this is secretary gates last wednesday. dr. schear, i would like you to listen to it. but for all the improvements of recent years, america's
interagency toolkit is a hodgepodge combined of a complex patchwork of authorities, persistent shortfalls and resources, mr. herbst, and unwieldy processes. so that's what he says. so this is my take-aways and i want you to react to them. my take-away is the s/crs is providing very few people in iraq basically contractors, that's absurd and afghanistan. under the civilian response corps. that's one of my take-aways. mr. schear's office is buried too far in the bureaucracy. that's one of my take-away. military is doing the work because usaid and department of state funding and staff don't have the resources but the military does. another take-away is practically speaking there isn't much coordination and state opposes both proposals in the sense that
they're silent to the proposal made by the inspector general in iraq, usoco. and silent to date on the joint stabilization funds proposed by dod. it strikes me curious in one sense 'cause dod has more funds and they're willing to put it in the same pool makes me wonder if state feels they lose control. another take-away no one has taken the ball and run away in terms of coordination reconstruction and stabilization. mr. herbst, notwithstanding, i don't see and feel the energy that i would feel if you thought there was the loss of lives which you don't seem to think. it is clear major reforms are needed. at least it's clear to me. that's one of my take-aways. so now i want you to respond to the following. these are options. one is the joint stabilization funds by mr. gates. you don't have to tell me whether you like i